Launching a successful business is all about having contacts and knowing who you need to speak to in order to get things done. Going through legal troubles? Get in touch with your lawyer or some kind of legal specialist to advise you. Upgrading your technology? Get a technology expert to help install and maintain it. Need to scale up your business with a new warehouse? There are probably people in your business that specialize in that too.
One of the most important contacts to have is actually a reliable supplier. After all, many businesses rely on the raw materials and products that are provided by a vendor. They either sell these products in a bundled form or turn them into new products that are more appealing to their audiences. This is a very standard relationship in business and it’s a symbiotic relationship that benefits both parties.
But what happens when your supplier can no longer keep up with the demand? What if you’re single-handedly emptying their stock and of products every single month? In a situation like this, you may be growing your business faster than you could imagine. But before you jump the gun and switch to a new supplier, here are a couple of signs that show you’re also in this situation.
The quality of products from your supplier is falling
When suppliers are overloaded with orders, there’s a possibility that they might start buying products in bulk from less-than-reputable providers as well. They could be relying on cheaper metals or mining processes, or they could switch to buying from countries like China which are notorious for producing low-quality products on the budget end. Situations like this can be difficult to gauge because the fault might not lie with your supplier. However, if they have a hand in transforming those raw materials and products into something else (which they then raise the price of because of labor costs) then they should also take responsibility for it.
For instance, a vendor’s steel beams are noticeably weaker, shorter, or even a different color, then the material composition could be completely different and might result in your builds being affected. This ultimately passes down onto the customers who will experience a number of issues with their products. In other words, if the quality coming from your supplier is low, then the quality of your products that your customers see is also low.
In short, keep an eye on all of the stock that you’ve been given. Make sure that you’re always checking for quality and consistency and don’t be afraid to contact your supplier if those products have become unsatisfactory.
There are other companies who are contacting you about being a partner
If your supplier is the only company to offer you a certain product, then there’s a good chance that they offer some of the best prices and they have a strong market share in the industry. But what happens when another company comes along to disrupt it? What if there are suddenly more competitors than ever before?
In most cases, this isn’t a good sign for the vendor.
Companies like Annapolis Propane are rising up against well-established names by offering a service unlike any other. When more and more competitors appear in a particular space, there’s a chance that it’s happening because there’s a niché that hasn’t been filled, or because the current business in the lead is starting to falter on their principles. In other words; if you see a competitor, they’re probably coming for the crown and want to steal you from your existing vendor. This is a huge sign that your old supplier can no longer keep up with your growth.
Your supplier no longer offers your great deals
When choosing a supplier for your company, many of us pick companies that have a great personality, office culture, and commitment to quality. Another good reason is to take advantage of all the deals that they might be offering. You might see someone from the supplier emailing you about unique offers and deals, or they might even add a special discount to all of your orders after a major meeting or discussion with them.
But if your supplier stops offering these kinds of deals, then there’s a good chance that things are starting to go sour at the company. Excellent customer service like this is usually a sign that the business is already doing well, but if they’re barely able to spare you a representative that you can call, then you’re probably not going to get much luck with deals.
Should I be changing my supplier?
So at the end of the day, the question then becomes; should I actually change my supplier? This isn’t something that can be answered simply. In fact, it’s something that requires a lot of knowledge of both your business and your current supplier. This is because we usually don’t know everything that’s going on with our partners. Sometimes they’re struggling to keep up with demand, not because of themselves but because the price of the raw material is too high. The more you communicate with your supplier, the more likely it is you’ll find the root of the problem. This means that your current supplier can continue offering you fantastic products for a low price and you won’t have to go through the process of terminating a contract on bad terms.
At the end of the day, it’s important for you to consider your current situation and if you really need to change your supplier. Some businesses can function fine with a few hiccups because they have great big stockpiles of supplies to work with, but other companies don’t have the capital to hoard a great number of products and will need to buy them on an as-needed basis.\
So it’s really up to you if you decide to change your supplier. It’s certainly something that needs a lot of consideration and you’ll have to meet with suppliers to see if they can match your needs.