Dependable suppliers can be rare, but through networking to find a supplier, this task can be made easier. This is true domestically, but even more so when dealing with international suppliers. Counting on a recommendation means sacrificing a level of control that now means if a problem occurs, it can be harder to address. Getting it right first time is essential to success.
Networking to Find a Supplier
When it comes to finding your international supplier you may want to approach the task on a more domestic scale. The power of networking runs throughout business worldwide. Chances are, through utilising the networks you currently possess you can find a recommended supplier. Direct competitors would be unlikely to help. Business workshops and networking events will point towards the right direction.
Travelling to Asia would be the most worthwhile method of finding a suitable supplier. Entrepreneurs and small companies struggle to justify the costs. Large costs involved and time constraints compound the issues. Mitigating the risk of dealing with an unreliable supplier should be prioritized. Networking addresses both the cost and time constraints. A recommended supplier may come pre-vetted. The referral should also entail an honest review.
Due diligence should follow any received referrals. Every company has different needs. A supplier good suitable for one company may be a terrible fit for your own. Networking is greatly beneficial in creating that immediate shortlist. However, within that shortlist you still need to properly carry out checks prior to making an order.
Cost Effective Alternative
Companies have also greatly benefited from hiring the services of sourcing companies. These exist to link suppliers and companies together and form business relationships. Generally, they take on the majority of the risk. From payment terms, negotiating, quality checks and due diligence, sourcing companies can offer an efficient way of finding suppliers for you. Effectively through utilizing their own supplier network, they can find the perfect supplier for you.
Such services are not free. The initial cost can be quite high, especially from the perspective of entrepreneurs just starting out. However, cost savings are made through efficiency and by reducing the level of risk you are exposed too. Short term investments can pay dividends for years to come. A reliable supplier can act as a crucial component to your business.
The cheapest option is to always do it yourself. Despite the task taking a large amount of time, you can find the perfect supplier that suits your needs. Others prefer to hire professional help to ensure the journey goes smoothly. Companies prefer to stick to their strengths, which may be in marketing or sales. Remember to always carry out sufficient due diligence if you prefer to source your own supplier. Hiring professional help is a wise move, but for firms on an extremely tight budget, this initial outlay may not be possible.