Regardless of your company’s size, you deserve top-quality treatment from your vendors. But switching suppliers isn’t simple. There are costs, it’s disruptive, and it impacts your business operations. You’ll need to weigh the costs and benefits of switching vendors or staying with your current supplier.
Does your current vendor deserve your business? Here are six signs that it’s time to switch suppliers.
1. UNRELIABLE DELIVERY
There was a time you could set your clock by your vendor’s delivery, but in recent months they’ve been inconsistent. Maybe they have had good reasons that were outside of their control. But if those issues aren’t getting resolved, there’s likely a deeper problem that isn’t being addressed.
Whether it’s late deliveries, inconsistent product quality, or poor packaging, a vendor that can’t provide reliable delivery is a significant problem that needs to be fixed—for good.
Even the most reliable vendors will have an occasional hiccup. But if you’re noticing a trend in the wrong direction, you’ll have to deal with bigger issues than tight project schedules. An unreliable vendor has implications for the overall health and growth of your business.
2. LACK OF COMMUNICATION
Strong communication is central to a good partnership with your turned wood and squared parts supplier. Any vendor worth their salt will welcome frequent communication from their customers. They should be quick to respond to questions and concerns, and they’ll gladly make changes to an order to meet your needs.
Are you reluctant to contact your supplier because you’re made to feel like an interruption? Is it difficult to get in touch with a live person? Are your messages going into a black hole? That should raise a red flag.
3. EXCESSIVE RISE IN COST
Every vendor will raise their rates over time. That’s a part of doing business, and you shouldn’t be surprised when it happens. But you don’t want to do business with a vendor who raises their prices exorbitantly, without notice. Good suppliers simply don’t do this —they make it a priority to prepare their customers for necessary price increases, well ahead of time.
Unexpected price increases place you in a difficult position for your own pricing and profit. You’re more likely to take a loss on current projects, and you’ll need to decide how to responsibly adjust your own price structure moving forward.
Also pay attention to frequent, small price rate increases that aren’t communicated. If your vendor’s pricing practices aren’t giving you the respect your business deserves, it might be time to start comparing vendors.
4. POOR SERVICE
If a vendor is serious about doing business with you, you’ll see it in their service. High-quality service is critical to an ongoing business relationship. You shouldn’t have to deal with repeated invoicing errors, inattention to detail, slow response time, or general indifference. These issues create a waste of time and resources by pulling you away from your core business.
5. SIGNS OF TROUBLE
Sometimes you can sense something’s off, even if you can’t pinpoint it. Don’t ignore signs that your vendor’s infrastructure isn’t stable. Don’t ignore red flags like these:
- Rotating list of account managers or primary contacts
- Signs of management issues
- Recent acquisition from a large company
6. THEY CAN’T HELP YOU REACH YOUR LONG-TERM BUSINESS GOALS
Evaluate all of your vendors on a quarterly basis and track key measurables for their performance. As part of the evaluation, ask yourself whether it’s clear that your vendors are aligned with your long-term business goals. If it’s clear that they’re not helping you to achieve your goals, it’s probably time to let them go.
WORK WITH VENDORS YOU CAN COUNT ON
Your company deserves a vendor who will do the job and discloses the truth about their capabilities. Switching vendors comes with a cost and degree of risk—but remember that staying with the wrong supplier is also costly and carries risks of its own. Don’t settle for anything less than the vendors who earn and deserve your trust.
At Glacial Wood, we’re committed to doing the job right—and we want to prove it to you. Take the Glacial Challenge to see how we can deliver superior results.