How to Choose the Right Supplier for Your Business | 5 Steps
The selection of suppliers is an ongoing process. After all, any partner can raise prices, change the assortment, reduce quality or go bankrupt, and you have to look for a new one. Below there are tips on where and how to find the most suitable ones and to avoid fraud.
How to make a product
Finding a manufacturer for your products can seem like a daunting task at first. To identify the top manufacturers and suppliers for your company, we suggest these 5 steps.
- Search of supplier
Choosing the right manufacturer for your product is critical to your success. Manufacturers control the cost, quality, packaging, and delivery of your product. Here are some ways to find the right supplier:
- Sourcing platforms. Such platforms connect you with manufacturers from many countries around the world. Generally, marketplaces are used to search for existing products, but you can also use them to contact manufacturers to create custom products.
- Search engines. Many vendors are not keeping pace with changes in the Internet or Google algorithms. Their websites are usually old, sparse in information, and not optimized for search engines. However, phrases such as "wholesaler", "wholesaler" and "distributor" will help you find suppliers through search terms. Keep in mind that for countries like China you may try Baidu instead of Google which is blocked in China.
- Professional selection of a supplier. Professional selection services will take into account all your requirements and offer a curated selection of the sellers, as well as assess the reliability of suppliers and reduce time for searching and placing your order. There are many companies that provide these services. We at Sourcing.eco assist our buyers in suppliers search. You can use this feature by clicking the Send Request on our main page.
- Contact suitable suppliers
We, at Sourcing.eco always recommend having a questionnaire ready before you contact shortlisted partners:
- Does the supplier have a business license? Our platform allows you to check your Asian supplier business licenses for free. A request can be made on the main page of the site by clicking the check Verify Now button
- How much does the selected item cost per batch or unit?
- What is the MOQ (minimum order quantity)?
- Is this the total quantity for the entire order, or is it also set separately for each item?
- How many batches do you need to order for a specific period, for example, a month?
- Are there any production certificates or eco-labels?
- Is it going to be white-label products or are you going to place OEM/ODM order?
- What are the conditions for opening molds?
- What are the risks of producing custom products?
- How do you arrange quality control before, during, and after the production?
- Where is the factory located and what are the delivery terms?
- What are the payment terms? Cumulative or advance payments?
- Is it possible to defer payment?
- What if the percentage of the defects is high? Who bears responsibility for the risks of the defective product and can further discount be discussed in case of a big percentage of defects after an inspection?
- Discuss customization options if needed
After talking with a potential manufacturer, ask if they can create your design. Some manufacturers use a product development process with prototyping and 3D modeling, but this can quickly become costly.
You can share your ideas and developments with the help of references for the necessary product, sketches, and instructions.
- Order samples
Before placing a full order, get samples for testing before production. Once the sample is correct, put the date and sign the sample. Save one or two for yourself. These are called control samples (golden samples) and any further deviation from this golden sample will be a reason to discuss with your supplier.
- Place an order
The last stage is placing your order, after a complete check of your samples’ quality, design, performance and reliability of the supplier. Finally, think about further production quality control and arrange necessary controlling steps along the manufacturing process: in-line inspections on site and a pre-shipment inspection after production. Note that if an inspection is failed, you can always arrange a re-inspection and again have your inspector go to the factory, again randomly select the products and conduct performance tests and appearance check. Consult with Sourcing.eco representatives on how to optimize this process and we will give you free tips on reducing risks with placing order, choosing the right payment terms and arranging QC.
General principles of working with suppliers
- Collaborate with multiple. Do not rely on one supplier even if they may seem very good in the beginning, but always have a backup. This will also allow you to be agile when you decide to expand your product lines.
- Try to also explore local suppliers opportunities as this allows you to be more in control of the production process and bring your quality standards higher.
- Do not make a payment to someone who has not been verified. Arrange a documents and certificates checkup, make a factory audit, ask for samples, arrange inspection along the production process. The more work you invest in the beginning, the bigger chance you will receive the goods of expected quality and on time.
Sourcing.eco experts have 10+ years of experience in sourcing and quality control, reach out to us in the LiveChat or by email and we will be happy to arrange a quick call with you and consult you about your particular case.