Supplier Choices and the effects on your business

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

When you dive deep into our personal and business decisions; why do you choose to buy from a specific supplier for that type of product or service?

I cover a few points below as they pertain to allocating your product orders or management services to a contractor (supplier, manufacturer, agent, and/or consultant) for the manufacturing of apparel, footwear, and accessories to ensure your brand’s integrity, identity, and image.

Order Allocation

I have noticed over the years that many people grow content, are “too busy”, lack the expertise, or experience or budget and end up settling for what’s in front of them or they are choosing the wrong supplier for personal reasons that don’t work as planned.

The important question is whether the company or individual has:

  • Experience (have they made this type of product; have they been successful with this type of product?)
  • Expertise or education (history and facts)
  • Proper infrastructure to manage the order or business (organization, systems, policies, and procedures)
  • Planning, budgeting, management (financial structure) and understanding the TCO (The actual product costs)
  • Personnel and experienced workforce to manufacture the products

Does your company have:

  • The staff to qualify and select suppliers, factories or vendors (every step must be calculated)
  • Have personnel who speak the country and local dialects (technical terms are not easy to explain)
  • Ability to understand the culture and business processes (why, what, who, when, where, and how)
  • Passion and intelligence to protect your products and brand integrity, image, and identity?

Management

How do you and your staff manage the long-term prospects of your business?  Is your company taking advantage of the industry momentum and growth?  

Are there any reasons to worry about the quality of your products, people or suppliers?  Do you 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 promote the long-term success with your business?  Below is a checklist to ensure your order is made with limited problems and pain points.

  • Is the order placed on emotion or reason?
  • Do you have sufficient knowledge about all the facts?
  • is the supply chain transparent?
  • What is the trusted individual’s expertise and experience?
  • Has the factory been personally vetted and validated?
  • Do they specialize? Do they have special skillsets? Or are they a jack of all trades/products?
  • Does the person allocating the order really understand the implications of the order; or are they taking the path of least resistance?
  • What is the real TCO (True Cost of Operations)?

I have noticed that many suppliers believe they have that buyer wrapped around their finger and that they can do nothing without them.  They have built a relationship with that buyer (company) to ensure that it is more difficult for them to leave.  

But, they may be delivering substandard products or causing more problems and headaches that cost the business in long-term relationships and customer/brand building.

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