Here are some of the most important questions to ask suppliers.
What is the scope of your services?
Some suppliers provide one-stop services, others are capable of fulfilling OEM and ODM demands, and there are even others who supply their brands. Other vendors undertake R&D and QC in-house, while others outsource these functions. Depending on a buyer’s demands, understanding the number of services a supplier delivers can assist buyers in making an affordable selection.
What communication methods do you employ?
Communication is crucial in business. It is critical to have a timely response from a supplier and know whether they have flexible communication channels in place. Is there a dedicated team to answer your questions, or do they outsource their customer service? Can they be reached easily via social media applications? Do they employ chatbots or exclusively connect through phone and e-mails? If difficulties emerge, it is critical to be able to contact suppliers through their preferred form of communication.
Is there a minimum order amount? Is it negotiable
Most suppliers already disclose their minimum order requirements on their websites, depending on the items they sell, but it’s helpful to know if they are still negotiable. Knowing the minimum order quantity assists purchasers in managing their cash flow and ensuring that they can order enough things in the future.
Do you have the ability to satisfy our needs?
Knowing when the supplier was founded, how many employees they have, and who they are now can give you a decent sense of the volumes they are accustomed to delivering. You must inform them of your orders’ potential worth and ask them whether they can satisfy that demand.
Can we talk to your customers/reference sites?
Customers who are prepared to vouch for your providers should be available. You may request to examine case studies or testimonials promoting the services or goods they provide, or you could want to talk with contacts at the reference sites directly. They have no reason to refuse this if they have a bank of pleased consumers to pick from.
Do you have any service-level agreements in place?
SLAs are agreements or contracts with suppliers that outline the service they must offer and the level of service they must give. An SLA also specifies roles and duties. SLAs are contractual obligations utilized in any supplier contract that provides a service. Typically, your provider should give an SLA that contains the following items:
- The sort of service offered
- The timeliness with which they commit
- The responsibility of both the supplier and consumer
- Legal and regulatory compliance provisions
- Mechanisms for service monitoring and reporting
- Payment conditions
Is your business financially secure?
Before getting into any agreement with a new supplier, be sure they have the adequate cash flow to supply what you need when you need it. Any supply delay might inconvenience your company and annoy your consumers. A credit check ensures that your suppliers stay in business when you need them the most.