Ford could have made an extra $2 billion in a year if they had more cooperation from their suppliers. Examples like this are why choosing a bad supplier may be beneficial for short-term gains, but detrimental for the long-term.
Though the above example is a different industry, all industries still face similar challenges, which are bad suppliers. Thus, if you are in the market for a local metal supplier, you will need to know what goes into finding an ideal partner.
As you read further, you will find out how to select the perfect local metal supplier. To better help you make your selection, we will provide a checklist that lists each factor you should consider.
Eight-Point Checklist To Help You Find a Reliable Metal Supplier
Follow this eight-point checklist to help you better understand what criteria go into selecting the best metal suppliers. These points will give you details on how you can find an ideal candidate among suppliers.
1. Check the Company’s Reputation
The most important factor to consider when searching for a partner to provide metal supplies is to figure out what past clients have said about them. If past customers cannot vouch for a supplier’s quality, then that is an immediate sign that you need to move on.
Some ways that you can check a company’s reputation include:
- Speak to representatives from people in similar or adjacent industries
- Read online customer reviews
- Find clients listed on the supplier’s website and reach out to them
When skimming reviews, ensure that you read through their most recent reviews. Those will better explain how the supplier currently does business with their clients.
2. Ensure Your Supplier Understands Your Industry
A local supplier should understand the ins and outs of your industry. Otherwise, you risk having a metal supply provider who cannot understand your specifications. This may lead to you receiving the wrong product, thus wasting time and money.
For example, if you are in the automotive industry, discuss your projects with suppliers. Ask whether they have had similar past clients in your industry.
Or, to save you from having to schedule a meeting with them, browse their website for clients. While they likely do not list all of their clients, the ones they show may give you a better understanding of their industry knowledge.
3. Determine Whether They Have Stellar Customer Service
If a local metal supplier can navigate project discussions that are favorable, then that means they will likely take your ideas into account. Good customer service also signifies that they have quality products.
How so? It shows that they understand how to interact with a diverse range of clients and take people’s opinions and ideas to enhance their products and services.
4. Do They Take Responsibility for Their Mistakes?
Things do not go as planned all the time with suppliers. In this scenario, you will need to know whether your partner will take accountability for any mistakes they made. That is because trust plays an enormous role in whether you can rely on your provider to fulfill your business needs.
5. Check Whether They Offer the Best Possible Price and Value
Determine whether the supplier provides competitive pricing. If not, ask them and figure out what factors influence their pricing. Afterward, compare their answers to those provided by other metal suppliers and ask yourself “who offers the best value?”
Once you figure out every supplier’s pricing, determine how it will affect your current product’s pricing and how it will affect your customers. If you need to raise your price a bit to give your customers more value, then that is the path you will need to take to maintain a positive brand image.
6. They Should Be Responsive and There When You Need Them
A metal supplier should update you as much as possible when talking about your orders. Moreover, they will need to respond quickly whenever you have a question. Otherwise, this means that the supplier cannot keep up with your needs.
Ask past and present clients about the supplier’s response time. Determine whether they can address your needs and relay information when you need it most.
7. What Is the Quality of Parts That They Provide
Selecting a supplier that provides low-quality parts can cost you more money. For starters, you may receive a shipment and find faults during your quality check. From there, you will have to dispose of the parts and order new ones.
Moreover, if you use these poor-quality metals to produce goods that later injure customers, you could find your business suffering from a lawsuit. These lawsuits average at $1.5 million per case.
To avoid damaging your brand’s reputation and giving customers poor-performing products, find a supplier that takes quality seriously.
8. Will They Provide Parts When You Need Them?
Check with clients to see whether suppliers shipped their orders on the dates they claimed. If the metal supplier failed to meet the dates they committed to, then that means you will have to push manufacturing back as well.
The speed they deliver is not the deciding factor, it is whether they can commit to their dates. Because if they were to focus on only shipping your products quickly, that may lead to quality control issues or product damage that will affect your overall profits.
Find a Reliable Local Metal Supplier Today
To find the perfect local metal supplier, you will need to consider varying factors like the quality of parts they provide and whether they have a good reputation. Otherwise, if you choose a supplier that does not understand your industry, you may end up paying more for your metal.
Conversely, instead of shuffling through various metal suppliers, try us. We are a locally owned and operated metal fabrication supplier that will ship high-quality metal products to you. Reach out to us and learn more about how we can transform your business.