How to Choose a Supplier from the UK
December 22, 2017
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The good news is that finding a supplier in the UK can be relatively easy: the language is the same and there are a number of online business and supplier directories where you can search for products by description. The bad news is that the wide variety of businesses in the UK make it hard to choose a supplier. Read below to find out how to choose the right supplier in the UK.
Make a shortlist of suppliers in the UK
Looking for a supplier can definitely be overwhelming, but a good place to start is by comparing suppliers based on product fit, price, and perceived quality. Narrow down your search to about ten companies, then start asking questions of the suppliers.
Start asking questions
Now that you have a shortlist list of suppliers in the UK, ask each:
- Can I have a written quote? Your quote will likely vary depending on how much product you want to order. The more you need, the cheaper it gets.
- Can I have a sample? You may have to pay for this. Be sure to ask for as much detail as possible. Also get a clear understanding how your sample will differ from what goes into mass production.
- Do you outsource work to another company? Do they make the products themselves or do they outsource the work.
- Can I ask for references from people you’ve done business with? They should be willing to give you the names of other businesses they work with so you can assess their quality.
Next, conduct credit checks on your shortlist of suppliers. Do they have the cash flow to supply in the volume you need?
The four determining factors when choosing a supplier
This is probably the first factor that comes to mind, after all, if your bottom line suffers so does your business. Remember though that your supplier needs to make a profit as well. If you can’t find a supplier that’s willing to meet your price it’s most likely because you’re trying to buy too low. Buying a quality product will mean paying for it.
It’s wise to score suppliers on subjects such as how well they fill an order, if they fill an order on time, and how they resolve issues. All of these things have a direct correlation not only with expenses but with customer satisfaction.
This is not only about a supplier’s ability to meet product specifications, but also specifications for packaging, labeling, and marketing-materials. Failures to meet specifications in any of these could cost you money so it’s wise to pay attention.
It’s extremely important that you see eye to eye with your suppliers on everything from how customer insight pairs with product design, to developing unique promotions and volume incentives
It’s extremely important that you see eye to eye with your suppliers on everything from how customer insight pairs with product design, to developing unique promotions and volume incentives. It is essential that they have insight into your business. This is about finding a supplier that doesn’t only take you on his terms, but that cares about your business. Is the supplier the right fit? Do you have business goals that are in alignment?
Consider whether to use more than one supplier
It may be cost effective to use only one, but it is more risky, as it may be useful to have someone as backup in case something goes wrong, you’ll still have product. Many businesses use at least three.
Remember that as you do these initial negotiations, you are developing a business relationship with your counterpart in the UK. Another way establish credibility with your UK counterpart is to pay through Veem. Veem uses a multi-rail system to make international wire transfers that are insured, safe, fast, and trackable from end to end.
You need 7 tools to master international trade. Find out what they are.