Being an entrepreneur means finding the right suppliers to help you reach your business goals. Reliable suppliers will provide you with the right products and services, but more importantly, they’ll get you what you need quickly and efficiently. Whether you’re in the automotive, aerospace or the pharmaceutical industry, here’s what to look for in a good supplier.
1. Makes It Easy to Communicate
When it comes to suppliers, finding one that’s easy to communicate with can save you a lot of time and senseless frustration. Any supplier you do business with should have open lines of communication to prevent a variety of problems, which could range from product non-conformities to product delays. Some of the best suppliers are direct and open, and they do what they say they’re going to do without you going the extra mile to make sure it happens. They also have customer service agents available during business hours to answer any questions you might have.
2. Expertise in Your Product Type
Finding a supplier with expertise in making the kinds of products you need is essential. For example, if you’re looking for silicone rubber products for your automotive or pharmaceutical company, you’ll need to find a supplier that’s an expert in producing those kinds of products. Apple Rubber has an online catalog of thousands of sizes of seals along with online tools that make it easy for their clients to find the exact part they’re looking for, such as a seal design guide, material guide selection, o-ring gland calculator, chemical compatibility guide and search feature that allows you to find the o-ring size you need.
3. Stays in Compliance With Industry Standards
Working with a supplier that stays in compliance with industry standards is crucial if you want to stay in business or avoid hefty fines. Make sure the supplier you choose not only follows industry standards when it comes to producing the products you need to run your business but that they also have a good health and safety record and some sense of corporate social responsibility. Doing business with a company that doesn’t follow industry standards could compromise your business and affect the quality of service you provide.
4. Delivers Quality Products/Services on Time
A reliable supplier is one that delivers quality products and services on time. But they also manufacture top-notch products using a variety of technologies and processes in the industry. For example, Apple Rubber produces the most complex silicone parts and seals with unmatched temperature resistance, superior insulating properties, exceptional weather resistance and chemical resistance.
5. Always Improving
A supplier that’s committed to continually improving is a supplier that’s serious about making sure their clients are always happy, and that they’re meeting industry standards for quality and incorporating any new technology into what they’re doing. It also means that supplier is dedicated not only to their own goals and success, but that they’re just as invested in yours.
Starting Your Search for a Reliable Supplier
Now that you know some of the best qualities of a reliable supplier, you can start creating a list of suppliers that match these criteria. Any supplier you decide to work with should have expertise in producing the kinds of products you need, the ability to deliver quality products on time, customer service agents available to answer your questions, and they should be compliant with industry standards, rules and regulations. The suppliers you choose make it easy to communicate and should always be looking to improve.