Is your supplier a perfect fit?

One thing we learn about life is we all have a choice.

This dives deep into personal and business decisions.  My one question for today, is why do you choose to buy from that supplier or individual for that type of product or service?

Product Allocation

I cover some of the reasons as they pertain to allocating your product orders or management services to a contractor (supplier, manufacturer, agent, and/or consultant) to ensure you maintain your brand’s integrity, identity, and image.

I have noticed over the years that many are too busy, don’t have the time, the knowledge, the expertise, experience or the budget. They end up settling for what’s in front of them or choosing the wrong supplier for established relationship reasons.

Action Plan

When you are allocating production it is recommended to review the following:

  • The ability to thoroughly qualify, validate, and vet your suppliers, factories or vendors
  • Experience. Have they made this product in the past? Do they have the required expertise?
  • Does the vendor have the passion and intelligence to maintain your brand integrity, image, and identity?
  • Proper infrastructure or support systems to manage the order. Looking at the organization structure, workflow systems, policies, processes, and procedures.
  • Look at the management structure, the internal planning, budgeting, and understanding the TCO (True Cost of Operation).
  • Analyze the workforce in terms of experience, skillset, and accountability.
  • The importance of understanding the culture and business process which vary by region. Looking at the why, what, when, who, where, and how.

Management

How do you and your staff manage your business?  

  • Is your company enjoying the industry momentum and growth?  
  • Does your company vet and validate frequently to ensure there is integrity, transparency, and honesty?  
  • What are your steps in place for order planning, allocation, and replenishment?
  • What do you do to ensure long-term success with your business

Below are some of the recommendations for a checklist to avoid or minimize problems and pain points.

  • Make sure the order is placed based on reason, not emotion
  • Do you have sufficient knowledge about this vendor
  • Confirming a transparent supply chain
  • Ensuring the individuals have the requisite expertise and experience
  • Has the supplier/factory been vetted, validated, or visited?
  • Do they specialize? or they a jack of all trades/products?
  • Does the person managing the order have the ability to direct the order through all stages
  • Or are they liable to fend it off to other people with dubious qualifications
  • The ability to speak the country and local language, understanding the importance of the technical terms, which may not be easy to explain.

I have noticed that many suppliers believe they have that buyer wrapped around their finger and that buyer can do nothing without them.  It is important to periodically take stock and learn when to distance yourself with established relationships.

Caveat emptor.

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