Saving your business time, money, and heartache: 3 tips for finding suppliers

If using a new supplier, paying particular attention to the terms and conditions of the contract will help avoid unpleasant surprises..

By Dixie Somers

Finding the right suppliers to use for your business activities directly impacts your business in profound ways. You must find a reliable supplier who can deliver quality materials in a timely manner. Supplies and materials are essential for maintaining productivity and efficient workflow. This is also critical in order to meet the needs of your own customers and to turn a steady profit.

Keep in mind that the quality of materials provided is just as important as the reliability of delivery. The overall cost and value also play into your bottom line. As you can see, your suppliers affect your business in numerous ways. Finding the right suppliers to rely on can be challenging, and these tips can guide you into making a smart decision.

Review the company’s history and background

While some newer companies may be reliable and trustworthy, there is something to be said for trusting a supplier that has a longstanding reputation for providing the quality of products that you need and for delivering those materials in a timely manner. If you do trust a company that does not have a longstanding history of excellence, consider incorporating some clauses or terms in your contract to promote superior results. In business, a supplier’s reputation can make or break a company, which can end up leaving huge and lasting impacts on your own business.

Check the supplier’s finances

The last thing that you want is for the supplier that you rely on to go out of business or to file for bankruptcy. Things like this can wreak havoc on your own operations and leave you scrambling to find a supplier at the last minute. While there are no guarantees, you may get a good idea of how well a supplier manages their finances and how financially sound they may be by checking their business credit rating.

Get your feet wet slowly 

Anytime you are working with a new company, you should proceed slowly. For example, if you are moving away from your current supplier and getting started with a new supplier, consider doing so transitionally. You can phase out your work with the old supplier while ramping up efforts with the new supplier. By doing so, you can ease the transitional stress and ensure that the new supplier can meet your needs and live up to your expectations.

Your business may need to work with multiple suppliers, and you can apply these tips in each case. By focusing on locating quality suppliers who charge fair rates, you can potentially set the stage for improved professional success. If you discover that you have made a bad decision, you can use these tips to migrate to a new supplier. However, if you feel unsure or are not confident in your fact-finding abilities, consider hiring supplier risk assessment experts to thoroughly vet your suppliers before you commit.

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Dixie Somers is a freelance writer who loves to write for business, health, home, and women’s interests. She lives in Arizona with her husband and three beautiful daughters.

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