Suppliers belong to your business

Suppliers play an important role in most businesses. Your business consumes services and supplies as a component of general overhead.

Partnership

A supplier (or vendor) relationship is really a partnership. And a supplier can sometimes actually become a partner if they bring promising opportunities that help you cut costs, increase efficiency, and enlarge your marketing and sales networks.

Suppliers are divided into categories:

Manufacturers: Independent representatives and salespeople usually handle products and materials from several supply companies, and sell them to retailers.

Distributors often buy in large quantities from several manufacturers, warehouse the goods and sell to retailers. This allows retailers to purchase smaller quantities than a manufacturer would be willing to sell.

Independent crafts and trades people sell via representatives or during trade shows.

Foreign goods are often sold by a local importer, who operates like a wholesaler. In certain cases you may desire to import products or materials directly from a manufacturer abroad, however, that requires considerable know how about commerce in the country from which you wish to purchase, e.g. China.

Good suppliers

Price is not the only criteria whereby to judge a supplier, important as it might be. Quality and reliability give you piece of mind and help you support your customers effectively.
If you are constantly haggling over price and bargaining the supplier down to the point where they don’t see the value in collaborating with you, they may just give up on you as a customer.

Reliability

Reliability is certainly a key factor when searching for a supplier. You would hope that the correct quantity arrives on time and in perfect condition, to ensure you can fulfill promises to your customers.

Although in theory large suppliers could be seen as reliable, simply because of the resources at their disposal, this is not always the case.

A small supplier often takes your needs to heart and will go the extra mile to help you wow your clients at crunch time.

Choosing suppliers

  • First you need to identify what type of suppliers you will need.
  • Then ask yourself what is truly important to you, regarding a supplier. Is it reliability, personal attention, and quality? Or, is price the overriding consideration?
  • The next question will be location– whether or not your business needs a supplier close to home, or can certain goods be brought from abroad?

Tips

  • It is wise to split your reliance between several small suppliers. This enables flexibility and gives you ongoing options incase of emergency.
  • If a vendor has existed for several years, with long term management, it is a good sign.
  • Location is very important. A local vendor can save freight charges, and perhaps offer shorter delivery dates and ordering flexibility.
  • You usually want a supplier who offers updated services, using the latest technology.
  • The supplier’s employees should be well-trained.
  • Your supplier should be able to work with you on attractive financial terms.
  • A good supplier will help you succeed in growing your business.

One thing is certain, a good reliable supplier can save you lots of headaches.

Image: Pixabay

A Black-Owned Car Manufacturer Dares Take on Well-Known International Brands

In this article Ryan Terpstra describes how black businesses have for a long time been successful in the automotive industry as suppliers and dealers. However, not many have reached the point of actually manufacturing cars.

The CEO of the Ghana-based Kantanka Group, Kwadwo Safo Jr,  is currently defying these odds! His car manufacturing company now produces over a hundred vehicles per month.

READ THE FULL ARTICLE

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