One of the most difficult things a buyer or brand will face, is ensuring they choose the correct supplier for their products.
Just think about it, they are trying to choose a supplier who are probably based a few thousand kilometres away, without seeing the supplier’s factory, their current production, their previous production, or speaking to them face to face.
After making initial contact with a supplier, a business needs to dig a little deeper to find out more about the company and the prices they can offer.
The following is a checklist to help businesses during the initial supplier qualification stages to ensure they choose the best supplier.
1. Check the supplier company type
If a business is looking for an end manufacturer, they should request a factory profile which confirms that they are the manufacturer of the products. If the supplier has had an audit completed, ask for the audit report which would confirm and show images of the company verifying that they are the end factory.
2. Ensure you are working with the correct company size
The number of employees is also very important. If the company who are sourcing products are working on a relatively small project and ordering low quantities, a 5000-employee manufacturer will not be the best option. A factory with far fewer employees will be more suitable. The opposite applies for large projects, which usually need a larger manufacturer.
3. Check previous clients
If the supplier makes claims to have done work for famous brands, do not be afraid to ask for evidence or a reference. These types of claims are relatively common and might not be true. A good supplier should be ready and able to stand by any claim made, with evidence.
4. Be extremely detail oriented when reviewing price
Has the supplier quoted on exactly what is asked for? It is always better to double check this with a supplier, as opposed to assuming they have.
We cannot stress the importance of this.
Ensure that both businesses are on the same page and neither have made any assumptions regarding the products. Check the minimum order quantities are exactly what was requested.
5. Request certification and suppliers’ compliance
Ask the supplier if they have passed any audits or have any certification with manufacturing standards (for example ISO 9001), or any relevant certification for the product category a business works in. If they have up to date certification, they should be able to provide an audit report or a certificate as proof. Make sure to check whether the company is actually certified by going to the website of the standard. Often standards show a public list of certified manufacturers on their website with information when their certification runs out. This will allow businesses to check whether the potential supplier holds a valid, up to date certification.
Read more here about how Sourcing Playground makes it easier to find suppliers with relevant certification and memberships with ethical and sustainable initiatives. If you’d like to learn more about ways to qualify your potential suppliers, visit Sourcing Playground’s website by clicking here.
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