Whether you’re a small-time parts maker for heavy equipment or a large military-industrial contractor that builds everything from ships to submarines, having solid supply lines is all-important. To even have supply lines though you have to have suppliers. Depending on how niche your particular market is and the products you make, finding the right supplier might be quite difficult.
We’ve put together some tips for finding the right supplier and what to look out for to help not only keep your business afloat but to make it a success. Not every industrial manufacturer will need these tips, but they are designed to help businesses both large and small. A stable supply chain starts with a good supplier.
Be Niche Specific
No matter what you build, there’s likely a supplier that supports your specific craft. The more niche specific your supplier is the better range of services you’ll have, the better equipment and materials you’ll be able to get, and the more quality products you can produce. After all, who better supply you than a supplier that specializes in what you need?
Whether you need something as specific as industrial centrifugal pumps, or as common as ⅜” washers, having a supplier dedicated to those items will put you in a better position to get what you need.
Many businesses tend to focus on larger suppliers when dealing with volume, however, there is a supply and demand element that can put small and medium-sized businesses at a disadvantage when a larger company attempts to buy up all of a certain resource from a particular supplier. There is merit to buying in bulk what you can, but if you need very specific parts, rely on a part-specific supplier.
Create Supplier Partnerships
Having multiple suppliers is sometimes beneficial for some items, but for industry-specific parts and services, it’s better to form a partnership with a particular supplier rather than simply trying to source as many suppliers as you can. Partnerships can lead to better deals on procurement, make new goods and services available sooner and even expedite the process.
While partnerships may seem constraining at first, strategic partnerships can often pave the way to better benefits.
Manage Your Supplier Relationships
Whether you’ve got one supplier or fifty, cultivating positive relationships with your suppliers has a number of benefits that all result in a healthier business.
One of the chief benefits is the consolidation of your supply chain. A consolidated supply chain means increased efficiency and productivity.
You can reduce costs, lower wait times, and improve performance across the board by having a trusted group of suppliers that know your business inside and out.
At the end of the day, a good supplier can be hard to come by, but once you have one, the benefits are numerous.