Are you searching for a new vendor? It's never an easy process. You need a vendor who can meet your needs, deliver on your schedule, and fit within your budget. Very often, you can't really know whether a vendor will meet all of your criteria until after you have already started working with them.
During your search phase, how can you tell whether a vendor really aligns with your objectives? It's helpful to have a plan in place before you start talking to potential vendors. Define your top priorities. Identify potential red flags are warning signs. Have a clear idea of what you want and what is most important to you.
Think of service in terms of partnership.
Below are a few of the top factors you may want to consider in your vendor search, along with tips on how to evaluate each vendor. Don't start your vendor search until you have identified your most important factors and have developed a strategy.
Your customers demand quality from you, so it's only right that you demand quality from your vendors. After all, the quality of their work directly impacts the quality of your products and services.
One of the best ways to evaluate a vendors commitment to quality is to visit them in person so you can see their processes and how they operate. What does their quality assurance process look like? What system do they use to implement continuous improvement into the processes? What about packaging and shipping, and their commitment to quality in those areas?
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If you or considering overseas vendors, it may be difficult to evaluate their facilities in person. However, you may consider working with a supply-chain consultant who has team members located overseas.
Whether you’re buying dinner at your favorite restaurant or an order of industrial parts from a vendor, service is always an important factor in the buying decision. The consequences of subpar service are very different in those two scenarios, though.
You may want to think of service in terms of partnership. Will the vendor serve as a partner for you? Will they adapt and evolve with the changing needs of your business?Bad service in a restaurant may ruin your evening. Bad service from a vendor could ruin your industrial project’s outcome.
For example, if your timeline changes, could the partner alter their schedule to help you achieve a better outcome? Could they provide technological transparency into the status of your orders so you can better manage your resources?
Look for a vendor who is invested in your success and who is willing to work with you to achieve optimal outcomes.
Price can be a tricky consideration when evaluating a vendor. Obviously price should be a factor, but that doesn’t mean you should choose the lowest price. Often, lower prices come with a reduction in quality or service.
Instead of examining the vendor’s price, focus on their attitude toward price. Why is their product priced the way it is? Is that price getting you enhanced quality protection and superior service? And how are they willing to tailor price to meet your changing needs?
Another important part of pricing is what the vendor’s approach is to reducing price in the future. For example, perhaps you have process improvements they could implement on their end to drive down price. Are they open to those suggestions and recommendations? Are they willing to work with you as a partner to improve efficiency and drive down cost for both parties?
4. Size and Scale
If you work with a global relocation consultant, you can take advantage of their size and resources to tackle challenges related to your relocation and even your ongoing supply and distribution chains. Some of the larger relocation services providers have worldwide locations and resources to serve your needs.
For instance, Deufol has nearly 100 global locations. Many are strategically located near popular manufacturing centers in China and other parts of Asia. During your relocation, we can manage your packaging and shipping from your overseas manufacturers to ensure that incoming shipments arrive intact to your new facility rather than your old one.
We can warehouse inventory in our facilities to simplify and streamline the relocation process. We can even perform light assembly or bundling and ship directly to your customers. At Deufol, we customize our relocation consultation services to meet your needs.
Not all relocation consultants have the global size and scope to provide those services. Some have a narrow focus on the relocation itself, without also analyzing your supply and distribution chains. A large-scale consultant can analyze your whole business so your operations aren’t disrupted by the relocation.
Finding the right vendor isn’t always easy. It can be less painful, though, if you develop a plan in advance that identifies the factors and criteria that are most important to you.