Does anyone ever care to evaluate suppliers before signing the agreement, or are we dependent on word of mouth, or is it that we don’t have time and therefore, any supplier will do for as long as they have the products that we need. Well, many suppliers run offers and while some will offer the best deals for valuable office supplies not all of them are competent and you might, therefore, find yourself selling empty shelves because of delayed supplies.
Supply is a complex subject in business because apart from the products that you want to resell, there are those supplies that are essential for the running of your business. Additionally, suppliers carry valuable information that you can use to grow your business, for example, they can provide you with 411 on your competitors, the new upcoming products, and their influence in the market, they can even point you towards promising opportunities that you need to take advantage of.
- Reliability- a reliable supplier is not only able to deliver the office supplies on time but can refund the goods that are defective; big suppliers have backup systems and will, therefore, deliver even in the toughest of conditions or in case of problems. If you want reliability when dealing with suppliers it is best that you don’t give the order to one supplier rather split it into two so that if one fails to deliver, you can always source from another.
And still, on supply, did you know that the small companies offer better services and are much more reliable especially if your company is bigger than the suppliers. The above, therefore, calls for you to be smart, so if you are a small customer dealing with a big supply company, you can expect hiccups but if you are a large company dealing with a small supplier then they will do all they can to impress, which translates to better services and reliability.
- A Positive Attitude-
The best attitude that you should expect from a supplier is that of bravery and can do, remember that suppliers are out to make money just as you are, they should, therefore, portray a strong work ethic, work with a lot of integrity and above all be honest and transparent when it comes to pricing and the quality of goods.
- Flexible and ready for change- change they say is good and is the only thing that is constant in this world. A good supplier, therefore, will always be ready for change if you discover new opportunities from a product that has been recently launched in the market the respective supplier should be ready to jump on it and pursue the opportunity for the benefit of both of your businesses.
- Offer the best turnaround time with quick responses- good suppliers know how to bridge the gap between demand and supply, however, at times it might prove tough to achieve the above. So, to ensure that clients don’t get frustrated suppliers will provide small quantity but frequently to ensure that your customers don’t find empty shelves.
- Have the best communication system and skills –
Suppliers need to be knowledgeable of the products they are offering, because at some point they will have to convince retailers into selling a newly launched product and if they can’t explain their benefits, then convincing someone else to purchase it would be hard.
A communication system is important in any organization, more especially for the department of procurement and supplies. Responding to customer queries should be timely, customers should also be able to reach the overall in charge if they need to and in the easiest fashion possible that is why we have websites, mobile phone numbers, and email, all of which a supplier should have for ease of communication.
- Ease of cooperation with third party quality checkers- some suppliers ship goods overseas prior to which the importer might insist on having a third party independent quality checker to check on the quality of goods before they are shipped out. Legitimate suppliers dealing with good authentic goods should not have a problem with that.
- Good suppliers should be ethical-
why would anyone want to buy products that are made from workers working under the toughest of conditions that are unsafe for their overall health. Also, ethical suppliers will not sell goods made from slave or child labor.
People should stop gauging the performance of a supplier based on the prices of their products because the quality of the product is of the ultimate importance. If your supplier is dealing with substandard goods then they are putting your business in the line of bad press and besides your clients will run away. So to be on the safe side the above 7 qualities should be considered when looking for a good supplier.