If you’re making physical products, the quality of your suppliers will make a big difference. You need to find someone who’s reliable, has reasonable pricing, and is somewhat flexible. They also have to provide consistent quality and deliver on time.
Finding a supplier that ticks all the right boxes is easier said than done, however. Depending on your niche, you might have hundreds or even thousands of different suppliers to choose from and knowing which one would work the best for your operation might be difficult. But we’re here to help. Let’s take a look at how you can source materials for your products.
Do Research on Industry Standards
If you’re looking for a supplier for one specific material, then you must get familiar with industry standards. This will be the only way for you to gauge the quality of the materials you’ll be buying and determine whether the price you’re getting is reasonable for the level of quality you’re getting. This is especially important if you’re buying things like metal.
Understanding the quality of common metals is pretty easy, but things can be a bit tricky when it comes to manufactured materials like stainless steel. Stainless steel is used in a variety of applications and no matter what you’re using it for, FastMetals has you covered – visit https://fastmetals.com/pages/stainless_steel. Going with a reputable company with a long history will reduce the chances that you end up with something of substandard quality.
Go to Trade Shows
Trade shows are a great place to get in direct contact with suppliers. You’ll have the chance to see some of the products they have to offer firsthand and ask specific questions. You can start asking about things like minimum order, payment terms and conditions, where their warehouse is located, how long they’ve been in business, what industries and companies they worked with before, etc. You’ll also be able to take a few samples home and compare different suppliers in the same industry.
Hire a Third Party
Another thing you can do is hire a third party to find the source materials for you. You could hire a sourcing agent or a purchasing agent that also sources. We have to specify this because a lot of people conflate sourcing and purchasing agents when they’re slightly different.
A sourcing agent will locate and vet concrete forming suppliers for you but will not be involved in the buying process. A purchasing agent, on the other hand, will be in charge of getting that product to you. Going with a purchasing agent could be a good option if you want to facilitate the process but it will cost you more. Working with a sourcing agent will give you slightly more control, but you’ll have to be more involved, so look at both options.
Taking the time to find suppliers you can trust and who will grow with your business is extremely important for long-term success. Follow these instructions and spend extra time verifying any supplier’s track record before you work with them.