Test your supplier’s compatibility
Deceuninck’s Rob McGlennon explains why the relationship between customer and supplier is as important as the products supplied.
For most manufacturing companies the focus is on product: how we make what we make, how we control the quality of what we make, and how we continually deliver innovative products that keep customers ahead of the competition.
However, what some suppliers haven’t realised yet is that building a relationship with customers is equally as important. Sadly, all too often, we’re told by new customers that they didn’t have a relationship with their previous supplier, they simply had a supply agreement (which, by the way, was sometimes fulfilled and sometimes not). Not all suppliers are the same though and the trick is to find the one that best suits your business.
Different companies work better with different suppliers – some need low prices, some need innovation to stand out from a crowded market, while others simply want a supplier they can trust.
Here’s a quick checklist of things to consider when deciding if you’re with the right supplier, or if there are other suppliers out there who might be better suited to your business.
Product – does your supplier:
offer the right mix of products ahead of market trends?
invest in innovation to ensure you have something different to offer?
hold a wide range of colours in stock?
also hold the same wide range of coloured ancillaries, cills and trims in stock?
Offer value for money?
Relationship – does your supplier:
listen to what you need and respond accordingly?
do what they promise to do?
regularly come to your factory to see how things are going?
Quickly and effectively deal with complaints if they arise, and learn from the process to avoid the same problems occurring again?
can you access an online ordering system that allows you to check stock levels, allocate stock to your order and get what you need it?
are your deliveries complete and on time?
does your supplier offer you and your customers outstanding marketing support?
do you receive hands on support when you have a technical query, including a visit to your premises if needed?
It sounds obvious but not all suppliers are the same and you shouldn’t have to compromise, so if your current supplier doesn’t score very well with the above then it’s worth shopping around.
Imagine if you found a supplier who could deliver all of the above? You could concentrate on growing your business, instead of having to chase for answers, wait for the products your customers are demanding, and struggling to stay ahead of the competition.
Deceuninck customers remain loyal because we offer the right mix of products and an ongoing relationship – we don’t sign new customers up and then turn our backs. We constantly develop our offering to keep our fabricators ahead of their competitors with the best products, the best marketing, and the best relationships.
We want our customers to trust us and we will only achieve that by delivering what we say we will.