How To Find The Right Suppliers For Your Products

One of the costs of starting a business is finding the right supplier for your products. If you get this step wrong, you risk losing your loyal customers and causing the downfall of your business. A good supplier should deliver high-quality goods at the right time to prevent delays in the production process.

Depending on your budget and preference, you could opt to source for suppliers domestically or hire overseas suppliers. This article will discuss how to find the right suppliers for your products.

Do ample research

The kind of supplier you choose determines the quality and cost of your end product. Therefore, a poor or unreliable supplier will force you to reduce your prices due to substandard quality. An excellent way to find the perfect supplier would be to use the marketplace or popular online directories such as MFG, ThomasNet, and Kompass. Please don’t also disregard the power of word-of-mouth. Take advantage of social networks and get referrals from other entrepreneurs who have benefited from reliable suppliers.

Ascertain they have the proper certifications

Once you have narrowed down your search to certain suppliers, ensure they have the proper certifications. A certified supplier will be under the obligation to deliver quality products to your business in a timely fashion. Unfortunately, most suppliers are not transparent about their certifications until you insist.

Compare quotations

One of the most important questions for your supplier is how much their products cost. Before you ask for a quote, ask the suppliers on your radar about their shipping costs, the cost per unit, minimum order quantities, lead times, and whether they can accommodate custom orders. If you are pleased with most of the answers to these questions, you can then ask for quotes from at least three suppliers and select the best from the lot.

Ensure the supplier produces high-quality materials

We cannot stress the importance of finding a supplier that delivers high-quality products. For instance, if you are in the cosmetic industry, you need to manufacture products that will not harm your customer’s health. To manufacture your cosmetic products, you need to shop inorganic chemicals such as bismuth, manganese, aluminum, and silicon (IV) oxide. Choose a supplier that will not compromise on quality. We also suggest you find a supplier specializing in your unique niche as they will be better positioned to spot common quality issues and fix them promptly.

Ask whether they can create your design

You will most likely need to create custom designs for your business. It would be best to select a supplier with a product development process such as 3D modeling so you won’t have to source for other freelancers to design drawings. An excellent way to communicate your design ideas would be through sketches or reference photos.

Assess the geopolitical climate

If you opted for overseas suppliers, you might find some suppliers that offer rock bottom prices. These low prices might be due to the political instability in the area. If you cannot resist the temptation of such low prices, you might pay for products that you will never receive. Therefore, it would be best to look into the geopolitical climate of the area to rule out any suppliers located in areas of political unrest.

Order some samples

It wouldn’t hurt to be extra cautious and order a few samples before diving headfirst into working with the supplier. If you are happy with the design and the quality of the sample, add a date and signature and use it as a control sample. You will use this control sample in the future to ascertain you get consistent results.

Negotiate for fairer prices

After you are happy with your sample, you still have time to negotiate with your supplier for a fairer price. However, it would be best if you didn’t exploit your supplier by dropping their prices too low. We suggest you place yourself in their shoes and negotiate a price that will make everyone happy. The goal is to create a relationship that will last a long time.

Wrapping up

It might be tempting to select the supplier with the lowest price. However, it would not be worth reducing your product prices if the quality is poor. We also suggest you secure two suppliers in case one fails to come through, and you have urgent business operations you need to complete. Once you are happy with the quality of the samples the suppliers send to you, you can now go ahead to place your order.

Dragan Sutevski

Posted by Dragan Sutevski

Dragan Sutevski is a founder and CEO of Sutevski Consulting, creating business excellence through innovative thinking. Get more from Dragan on Twitter. Contact Dragan