Every business is going to be dependent on a few suppliers, and if you want to ensure the brightest possible future for your company, you need to take a proactive approach to secure the most fruitful relationships with them as possible. Obviously, this can be a very daunting task if you don’t have any experience in it. Here’s some of the best advice for sourcing great suppliers.
Do a Little Espionage
One of the best ways to find good suppliers is working through your close competitors in a covert way. Obviously, if you called up your main competition and tried to have a friendly chat about the vendors they buy from, they’re going to keep their cards pretty close to their chest! This is where you need to apply a little (legal) espionage. One way of doing this is placing an order from their company, under the name of someone who has nothing to do with your business. Then, inspect the packaging, and deconstruct the product itself if necessary. This can tell you who your competitors are buying from, and help you make the best decisions in finding your own suppliers.
Know Prospective Suppliers Like your Own Business
Once you’ve come up with a list of prospective suppliers, you need to do a lot of digging to figure out how beneficial they’ll be to your business model. Okay, companies like Marek Marine can provide calibration gas at the best prices. However, if you make your decision based on a minimal amount of research, you may be putting your long-term success at risk. Get in touch with a prospective supplier, and have them outline their current client database. This information can be extremely useful, giving you a better idea of their reputation, the kinds of accounts they’re used to handling, and even their pricing model. Industrial suppliers exist in a buyer’s market, so don’t be hesitant to ask these important questions.
Attend Some Trade Shows
Trade shows are one of the best places to find new suppliers who mesh with your business model, and make some other useful industry contacts in the process. Just taking one day off from running your business to wander around an exhibition center can generate a huge return in terms of new suppliers. There are many platforms like Expodatabase where you can look up the dates and details of upcoming trade shows, and the trade shows themselves often publish full lists of exhibitors, so you know what you’re getting into.