We all know that quality relationships with our customers are vital to a successful business, but we may be overlooking something more important, the relationship with our vendors. Quality vendors are the backbone of a business.
The three biggest factors in obtaining and keeping customers are quality, response and price. Vendors are an essential factor in all of these items.
Quality: Your business is only as good as your quality/product and services. Vendors who offer and consistently produce quality products and services are crucial to your business, whether you are building your own product or building a product for another company. Don’t forget; you are also a vendor.
Response: It’s an “instant gratification” society and in order to be successful you need have your product quickly available, but you don’t want to sit on expensive inventory. Vendors who stock items for you can speed up your production, and reduce your inventory expenses.
Price: Finding the best price on components to build your product will keep your product cost friendly. So in turn, finding a vendor that can deliver required components at reasonable pricing is vital. You will find in most cases, several vendors will carry the same product lines. Price isn’t everything; the service and response from your vendor can mean the difference between success and failure. But… a good vendor should also have the ability to match the prices of other vendors. A good vendor can provide the “win – win” you need to be the good vendor to your customers.
So we all agree, we need quality vendors, but how do we find these “All Star” vendors in our industry? Well it’s not always simple. Unfortunately trial and error can be the best method of determination. However, other than low prices, “breakneck” speeds, and error-free products, quality vendors usually share certain characteristics: quick communication, a friendly attitude, and a genuine interest in your business needs.
Not being able to contact your vendors during work hours is, at the least, annoying and, at the worst, terrifying. Let’s face it . . . overseas vendors are being used more frequently these days due to pricing, but the biggest complaint about overseas vendors is the communication. Even if you get a hold of them, you are never 100% confident that your message was completely understood. Finding a vendor in your same country / region will allow for quicker and “stress free” communication.
No one likes a jerk! Life is too short to surround yourself with vendors, or even customers for that matter who have poor attitudes and are difficult to work with. This is true in your personal life and your work life. Choose vendors that have a positive attitude. It usually is a reflection on their products and services.
You run your business on the motto “the customer always comes first”, your vendors should too. Finding a vendor that does not think of your business as a number is a sign of a quality vendor. Vendors that take an interest in your product and the success of your business will always strive to deliver the highest quality products.
Quality vendors are essential to your business and can help maximize your profits. There is a saying, “You are only as good as the company that you keep”. An equally accurate statement is “Your Company is only as good as the vendors it keeps”.
Article written by Erik Forston, Vice President of Operations at Metro Assemblies, Inc. Metro Assemblies, Inc. is a leading manufacturer of custom wire and cable assemblies. Contact Metro to be your wire/cable assembly vendor of choice.