There are a number of key characteristics that you should look for when identifying and short listing possible suppliers.
Quality and reliability
The quality of your supplies needs to be consistent – your customers associate poor quality with you, not your suppliers. Equally, if your supplier lets you down with a late delivery or faulty supplies, you may let your customer down.
Speed and flexibility
Flexible suppliers help you respond quickly to changing customer demands and sudden emergencies.
Value for money
The lowest price is not always the best value for money. If you want reliability and quality from your suppliers, you’ll have to decide how much you’re willing to pay for your supplies and the balance you want to strike between cost, reliability, quality and service.
Strong service and clear communication
You need your suppliers to deliver on time, or to be honest and give you plenty of warning if they can’t. The best suppliers will want to talk with you regularly to find out what needs you have now and how they can serve you better in the future.
It’s always worth making sure your supplier has sufficiently strong cashflow to deliver what you want, when you need it. A credit check will help reassure you that they won’t go out of business when you need them most.