You have given your everything in opening a business and now are on the lookout for a supplier that can fulfill your vision in delivering quality and gaining the loyalty of your customers.
However, not every supplier works for every business. It’s important to find a supplier that is able to meet your needs, even as those needs evolve.
In this article, we will walk you through how to choose the right supplier for your business and ensure that they are the perfect match before signing on the dotted line.
Find Someone Who Is Fully Aligned With Your Business
Working with a supplier can be a great way to give your customers access to products you don’t manufacture or stock. But finding the right one is only half the battle won. You also need to make sure that they’re fully aligned with your business and that you can both make the partnership work.
How do you know if your candidate is a good match? Here are a few pointers:
- How does their product portfolio align with what you sell? If they don’t offer products similar to yours and will be able to deliver them at competitive prices, then this may not be the right supplier for your business.
- What kind of experience do they have selling in retail outlets? A company that has worked with hundreds of other retailers over decades will be much more likely experienced than one that hasn’t, and this is especially true when it comes to understanding how each retailer works (and what you as an eCommerce seller should expect from them).
- Will they be able to fulfill your minimum and maximum order requirements? While some may have a minimum order for you to place, you need to check if they have the capacity to deliver the order in bulk without any problems arising. For this, they must have access to the right manufacturers and the best order fulfillment services.
How Flexible Are They?
Make sure that your supplier is flexible enough to be able to adapt to your changing needs, changing business, and so on.
What if you are in the fashion industry and your customer wants more options? What if you are in the pharmaceutical industry and there’s a new product that needs to be made? A good supplier will be able to flex with the changes without compromising quality or efficiency.
Are Their Prices Competitive?
When looking at the prices of a supplier, you should also consider their total cost of ownership. This includes:
- Cost of purchase
- Maintenance fees (if any)
- Installation fees (if any)
- Ongoing support costs (if any)
Do They Have an Eco-Friendly Ethos?
You want to know if a supplier is eco-friendly. It’s important that you don’t just look at their website but also find out if they are green when it comes to their business practices and the items they sell.
The easiest way is to ask them. Some companies will have this information on their website or in some other easily accessible place, but for others, it may be harder to access without asking them directly.
Some questions you might ask include:
- What kind of packaging do your products come in? Are there any biodegradable or recyclable options?
- Do you have recycling bins where customers can drop off their used batteries or rechargeable batteries? (This applies only if your product uses these). If not, what are your plans for these types of waste management?
Do They Share Your Values?
You want to choose a supplier that shares your values. Is the company you are considering hiring going to treat you and your customers well? Are they going to maintain a positive attitude towards their suppliers and employees, as well? The answer should be yes on all counts.
If it isn’t, then you should think twice about working with this company. Not only is this important for the health of your business relationships, but also for the general health of our global economy as a whole.
What Do Other Companies Say About Them?
When choosing a supplier, you should ask other companies in your industry who they use. This way, you can see what other people are using and if they would recommend that specific company. You can also ask them how they find their supplier and how they work with them, as well as what they like about their supplier.
Choosing the right supplier for your business can be difficult. But if you know what things to look for and what questions to ask, then you can find the perfect partner for your business.