Regularly reviewing whom you do business with is simply smart. Companies change tactics all the time, and with those changes may come a change in material, value, or cost. If you’re lucky, your supplier gets better. In most cases, however, you’ll likely see a dip in quality, a rise in costs you don’t want, or another unfavorable outcome. It’s impossible for any company to remain the same. Innovation and change is needed to continue to survive and thrive, and that includes you.
If you aren’t actively auditing your suppliers and options, then chances are a great alternative is just under your nose, and you can’t see it. By auditing your operations, you can check that the suppliers you use offer you the best value, so you can continue to manage your company as efficiently as possible.
If you haven’t established clear and regular vetting practices yet, start with these top tips:
Vet the Materials You Use
Every business has a wide range of choices when it comes to the materials that they work with. Assuming that choice is fixed, you haven’t done enough research. There are many innovative solutions out there to suit a wide range of industries. For example, the fashion industry can turn to textiles made from food scraps, while a manufacturing company can replace their standard polymer with a more environmentally friendly one, like poly(2-ethyl-2-oxazoline).
When it comes to these more innovative material solutions, know that the supplier range is going to be limited. Most often, these materials come from a very select production process, meaning you may only have one supplier to choose from. This makes vetting your suppliers far easier since there are fewer to start with. For poly(2-ethyl-2-oxazoline), you can start by looking into polymer companies like polychemistry.com.
Create a Short List of Suppliers
Knowing the materials, you want to be working with is a great way to narrow down suppliers into a short list. For example, that poly(2-ethyl-2-oxazoline) is produced by just one company, making it easy to pick your new supplier. However, the list can be abundant when it comes to more common materials. Establish niche criteria that will help you narrow down the list. This could be by location. Using American-made steel is a great selling point if you operate as an American-made company. How sustainable your supplier is could be another key characteristic you look for since it’s easy to find a list of suppliers that contain certain eco-certifications.
Cost Analyze Your Options
You need to choose the most cost-effective supplier. Getting the most value out of any supplier is where you’ll find the sweet spot. This usually means paying more than the lowest price you see. That little bit extra may come with essential features like live tracking or a customer service team you can trust.
Understand the Full Supply Chain
When it comes to partnering with any new supplier, know it’s your responsibility to audit their supply chain fully. A reputable company will readily have this information available, so be wary if they’re reluctant or refuse to give you that information. This is how you avoid working with companies who are involved with illegal practices, so you can maintain a good reputation back home and avoid potential fines or legal action against you.