Ten Important Factors When Choosing a Vendor

Choosing a new vendor can be stressful, but a vendor that is a good fit for your business will prevent stress in the long-run.

Frustrated guy

great vendor is a trusted partner for your business, not just a supplier. You want to select someone you can trust to be professional and help keep your business running smoothly. Choosing the wrong vendor can be expensive for your company and even damage your reputation.

Below are the nine qualities we look for in a vendor. Using this selection process helps prevent the frustration of making a bad choice while saving time and money.

Longevity

Find out how long the company has been in business. Are they an established provider of the products or services you need? Read their online reviews. Have other customers had successful, positive experiences with the companies? If there are negative reviews, do they seem justified? If a company has a lot of negative reviews, you should keep looking. 

Find out if the company is financially stable. You don’t want to have to change vendors at the last minute because they went out of business.

Consistency

The success of your business is often dependent on being able to supply what your clients need when they need it. When considering a vendor, find out if they will always have what you need. You don’t want to be surprised by delays in delivery.

Is their ordering process the same every time? Knowing exactly who to talk to and what information they need will save you time. When companies frequently change how they do things, it can cause you to be less efficient in your own business.

Is the product or service you get from a vendor always consistent? Knowing exactly what you will get each time will save time and prevent stress.

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Quality

When choosing a new vendor, you want to make sure the quality of the product or service will meet your needs. Ask for referrals and talk to other companies that have used this vendor to see if they were satisfied with the quality of work. 

Ask to see samples of the vendor’s product. Buying a poor quality cheaper product can be more expensive in the long run if you lose clients or have to repurchase from someone else. Remember, your clients will associate poor quality with you, not your supplier.

Knowledge

A vendor is like a business partner. That means you want to make sure they have the experience and skills that you need. Do they thoroughly answer any questions you have? Ask them about employee training. Do they understand your needs and have experience working with companies like yours? Do they have a plan in place in case anything goes wrong their end?

Reliability

Since a vendor is an integral part of your business, you must be able to depend on them to do what they say they will do. You don’t want to let your customer down because your vendor let you down. Do they deliver products on time? Is there anything missing from the order? Do they make excuses when things go wrong? A vendor that gets it right every time is a valuable asset to your company.

Vendor Making Delivery

Value

Finding the right vendor requires finding a balance between cost, quality, knowledge, and service. The lowest price doesn’t always give you the best value for your money. Does the vendor go the extra mile to make sure you are satisfied? Do they make the effort to get to know your business and your needs so they can offer additional products or services that can help you be more successful?

Communication

Open and frequent vendor communication is a valuable asset for your company. Do they explain things clearly and are they transparent throughout the sales process? Make sure your vendor will always respond to you within 24 hours. Working with the same person every time you contact the company can improve communication on both sides. 

A good vendor is willing to contact you right away when anything goes wrong and will give you frequent updates throughout the fulfillment process. Be careful of vendors that tend to over-promise or that don’t like it when you ask questions. You want someone who is completely honest about what they can and can’t do. Make sure you are communicating your needs clearly to them, as well.

Flexibility

Another quality to look for in a good vendor is flexibility. Will they allow you to make changes after an order is placed? Can they accommodate rush orders? Are they willing to make deliveries at a time that is convenient for you? Find a vendor that fits in with the way your business operates.

 

 

C&B partner vendor

 

 

Relationship

Building a strong relationship with your vendor will bring benefits to you both. Over time a stable vendor relationship will save you money and increase your efficiency. Make sure you have a dedicated team member to communicate with the vendor, answer any questions they have, and get progress reports. Use followup emails to put everything in writing so there are no misunderstandings.

Take time to study and understand your vendor’s business and make sure they understand your business. Show consideration for their time by planning and avoiding last-minute changes. The goal is to develop a partnership that will strengthen both businesses through mutual trust and respect. 

Price

Taking the lowest bid isn’t the most effective way to choose a vendor. You want to get the maximum value for the price you pay. Other factors to consider are time savings, labor savings, and the peace of mind you gain when working with someone you trust. Be clear about what you need from the vendor and make sure the bid includes every line-item cost. Get more than one bid and ask about additional fees, such as administrative expenses or surcharges. Always read the fine print before you sign a contract.

 

 

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Conclusion

Choosing a vendor can be a complex process but taking the time to find a vendor that fits with your business will pay off in peace of mind, improved customer relations, and increased profit.

 

C&B would like to be your marketing partner! Call us today to discuss how we can help your business. 806-374-6262


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Posted on Nov 16, 2022