If there has been one significant change above all others in recent years, it is that businesses want value over cheap. Yes, we all want to make sure we are saving money where we can, but we would much prefer knowing that we are spending our money in the best way possible and getting the most out of each dollar spent – that is where value comes in, especially when it comes to choosing your suppliers as a start-up company.
Like we said, the price is an important factor to consider, but it is only one factor in a much larger pool of necessities. With that in mind, we have spoken to a few seasoned entrepreneurs – some of who suffered a few knocks on their journey – and pulled together this list of crucial things to consider when it comes to choosing which suppliers to commit to and pin your chances of success on.
A Pretty Price
When it comes to price, it isn’t just about making sure you are getting the best deal possible because, if you do hammer them down to the point that they aren’t making much of a margin on your business, something is going to feel the heat.
This could mean the quality gets sacrificed, or it could be something much worse like their entire business gets put at risk and that could have extremely challenging implications on your success, reputation, and profits. So, yes, getting a good price is needed, but getting a fair price is better.
Your customer’s satisfaction is almost entirely dependent on the quality your supplier offers you. What quality means to you could be different from what their other clients deem it to mean, so make sure your specifications are understood.
It could be that your product needs to be developed in ISO clean room due to the nature of its use, it could need to withstand high temperatures or everyday use. Quality has different meanings. Don’t just take the supplier’s word on this either. Make sure that you are on the ball and measuring the standards that they deliver your wishes. Your business depends on your due diligence.
More and more business are becoming heavily reliant on the service they receive from their suppliers as a result of outsourcing certain tasks or, sometimes, entire products. In that sense, there are certain variables that you need to consider when it comes to choosing a supplier, such as fill rates, managing late orders, how efficiently they can resolve issues, what their customer service is like and, yes, how quickly they can import invoices.
All of these things have a knock-on effect that will affect a) the way your business operates and b) your customer satisfaction. In fact, this is one of the most important areas of your decision-making process and something that should not be skipped over lightly.
Once you have found a supplier – or selection of suppliers – that align with your needs, don’t make the mistake of thinking that they need you more than you need them. In fact, supplier management should be a crucial part of your success strategy because a good supplier is worth their weight in gold.