Whichever raw material your business requires, you’ll need to source it from a supplier that can meet your requirements as well as the requirements specific to the raw material industry. Here’s how to find the best raw material suppliers for your business and its needs.
1. Detail your requirements
The more detail you can provide for your raw material requirements, the easier and quicker it will be to find a supplier up to the task. You will want to know the per-unit pricing, minimum and maximum ordering quantities, quality certificates and assurances, average lead times from order to delivery, delivery and shipping options, handling and storage procedures, payment avenues, terms and conditions as well as returns policies and procedures of the supplier in question.
2. Assess each potential supplier
While a supplier can have the ability to provide your business with raw materials on paper, other factors will determine their real-life ability to do so. You will want to seek out references and public records on the potential supplier in question, and also look at crucial elements such as their current client list and client turnover, their financial health, their leadership and steering committee as well as their legal status. This will paint a more accurate picture than a quote will.
3. Seek out transparency
A transparent relationship with a supplier is essential. Can they verify where they get their supplies from and that the process is legal and doesn’t violate any local or international trade and labour laws? Do they perform audits on their manufacturing facilities and working conditions and is their record keeping correct and backdated? Do they have third party assessors or testers? The reality is that once you partner with a supplier, their reputation and yours becomes intrinsically bound and should they be found wanting, your business will likely be impacted by the legal and social fallout as well.
A potential supplier might meet all the above criteria and still not be a good fit with your company. Why? Because a company that is aligned with your business’s values and way of working is the one that will have the best possible fit.
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