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How to Choose the Right Supplier

If your business relies on having goods supplied to it, which you then use to manufacture or accompany your product/service offering, you’ll appreciate just how important it can be to make sure you get the right supplier.

Knowing how to choose the right supplier isn’t always easy though and the last thing you want is to get your business into a supplier relationship that doesn’t work.

At TNT, as experts in logistics, we know a thing or two about supplier management and supplier relationship management and as such we understand the importance of finding the right fit. In order to help point you in the right direction then, in this guide page we’ve detailed everything you need to consider when looking for a new or replacement supplier. So read on to find out exactly how to choose the right supplier.

Why you need a Quality Supplier

Firstly though, let’s consider why you need to look for only the best when choosing suppliers. As aforementioned, if your company relies on having goods or resources imported, if these were to be late or substandard you risk affecting the overall quality of what you deliver. The knock-on effects of this could be that you lose customers because of something which isn’t directly your fault.

What to Look for in a Supplier

Really it’s not too tricky to work out what makes for a decent partner when looking at choosing suppliers. Most of the time it’s common sense and on the most part will probably relate to some of these factors:

  • The cost of the supplier (the more affordable the better)
  • How quickly and effectively they can ship/import your items
  • How well they communicate with your business
  • The overall quality of the products against the amount of money you’re paying

Look at what is Available

With the above qualities considered, you should then look at which suppliers are available in your particular niche or sector. There’s a few routes to consider here, such as look at who your rivals are working with, or indeed what the top recommendations are from other businesses. Equally, it’s worth doing some simple online research, or perhaps attending exhibitions and trade fairs to find out about what these companies have to offer.

Whatever path you decide on, take a check list of assets and mark these off for each supplier you’re interested in. This should help narrow down your options.

Discussing with Suppliers

You should at this point have a shortlist of potential suppliers and you then need to start discussing with them what they can offer you.

It might be that you get some variations in price, so it’s a smart move to get a few quotes first before agreeing anything. These prices are something you can then negotiate with and essentially use to play one company off against the other – the best outcome of course being you get the lowest price for the best quality supply.

Making Everything Legal

As a business person you’ll probably already appreciate that a verbal contract is not set in stone. So once you have the deal you want, get the agreement set out in writing as well so you have this to refer back to before you sign on the dotted line.

Ending Supplier Relationships

One final thing to consider is severing ties with your current suppliers. If you have a strong enough case against what you feel is a poor offering on their part, you can negotiate out of your current contract – however this can be challenging. The best strategy here is to be frank with them and say you have a better offer elsewhere; it might be they then propose discounts or promise to deliver more if you stay with them though, so you may need to be firm.

So, make sure you use some or all of the above with your business and you’ll put your company on the right path to a positive supplier relationship. What’s more, the added bonus of displaying effective supplier management is that the companies you’re working with may be impressed by your level or professionalism, and then offer you better rates to keep your custom when it comes to renewals.

Whatever your circumstances though, act now and get the quality supplier your company deserves to have, by using our useful advice.