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Whatever industry you operate in, there’s a good chance you will have to work with external third-party suppliers at some point. Whether they are consultants, office equipment retailers, catering companies or electrical wholesalers, you have to choose your supplier from all the available options out there.
But the business landscape is a competitive place, and there will be dozens of similar companies all vying for your money. How can you make the right decision and choose a supplier who will help your business to flourish and grow?
Making the wrong choice could be a costly mistake. A poor quality supplier can waste time and money, potentially leading to further disruption down the line. As a business owner, the stakes are high as you need to be able to make good decisions quickly and efficiently. So how can you avoid making these errors?
To help you arrive at the right selection, here are five factors you should consider when choosing a new supplier.
As a business owner, one of your main priorities is making money. And therefore, anything that requires you to undergo expense must be justified. Different suppliers will offer different rates, and it can be tempting to opt for a cheaper option. But often a low price reflects the standard of service they provide. Go into the decision with value in mind but remember that it’s not everything. Shop around to see which suppliers offer a good deal or discounts on bulk orders.
You might find the highest quality supplier in the business, but if they’re based thousands of miles away they might not be the best choice. Long distance may equate to a less personal service and higher delivery rates, so you are better off working with a company located nearby.
Not all suppliers are created equal. You may simply want a repeat order of office equipment to arrive every few months, but each company might provide different benefits and levels of service. For example, some might offer warranties on high end equipment while others might provide a better quality of packaging and protection in transit. Talk to different suppliers to get a sense of where your money will be going.
You want to work with a company that has a proven track record of satisfied customers within your industry. Just as you would ask a potential employee for references, so should you when picking out a supplier. Look at reviews online as well as any customer case studies and testimonials to get a better idea of what you can expect from them in future.
Climate change is the topic on everyone’s lips at the moment, and companies have an obligation to do their bit for the environment. And you can play your part by picking suppliers that make a conscious effort to be more eco-friendly. Find out whether they have policies on issues like waste, recycling and carbon offsetting. By promoting green companies, you will encourage other players in the industry to follow suit.
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