Being an entrepreneur could take its toll on you. The business’s success or failure rests solely on your shoulder. When people depend on you for their livelihood, failure is not an option. There are no hard and fast rules in running a business, just a lot of common sense. An important element to consider is the set of suppliers you choose.
Suppliers run businesses and their job is quite straightforward—to ensure that their clients get the parts, tools, and equipment that best suit their needs. A great supplier knows the importance of being able to deliver on a client’s needs, especially in the marine and industrial business. If a boat builder requires a specific size of neoprene cable, for instance, a good supplier should have it in stock.
Here are the criteria for choosing the right materials supplier:
While every successful supplier was once a startup, you might want to give more emphasis in your search to suppliers that have been in business for some time. Their years in business is a guarantee that they can serve your needs well.
Before getting into business with a supplier, investigate what the company’s social value is—how they perceive themselves to be and what they believe they contribute to the community. This gives you an idea of how they value their people, their clients, and their relationships.
Cost is always a touchy subject. Of course, it’s still a business and is expected to make a profit. But is profit their only purpose, or do they couple this with other factors, such as long-term partnerships? Your supplier gives you the best value for your money with options that they present to you clearly.
In today’s changing world, your business must be able to adapt to fast-changing technologies. Your supplier must have the expertise to understand your business in order to guide you as to which parts or equipment best suit your needs. A good supplier is in tune with the current market trends.
There may be times when orders would change quickly and your supplier must be able to address your needs just as fast. Changed orders are easy enough to accommodate if your supplier has great customer service. Return business is all predicated on trust—the idea that your ‘partner’ has your back at all times.
As businesses, your success depends on one another. This is where professionalism comes in—are their staff courteous and communicating well? Do you feel valued when you transact with this supplier? Are your concerns addressed immediately?
Your supplier is a stockist, not just a distributor. This means items must be on-hand when orders come in and these items should be in good shape. A good supplier has ample room for their stocks, with products properly arranged, labeled, and tracked. Orders are inspected thoroughly before being shipped out and if there are still defects, changed promptly without too many questions.
You already know that time is money, and hopefully, so does your supplier. With the combined experience, expertise, and values of your supplier, they should be able to deliver on time, every time.
A supplier is not just another vendor. Along with their quality stocks must be the desire to build quality relationships with their clients to ensure that both businesses stay afloat. Finding one is easy if you know what to look for.