Supplier Sweet Spot

Selecting a supplier involves following a set of factors with cost and delivery often being the biggest influencers. Take the time to refocus your attention on the specifications of your part and you may discover your factors need to be reprioritized. It is crucial to align your parts’ features with the capabilities of a specific supplier. Don’t assume that all suppliers are created equal.

A mutual sharing of experiences and ideas generates innovative approaches to design and production that may not have been addressed previously. Understand that your supplier doesn’t have all the answers and you want to work with an organization that is open to new ideas. Emphasize the importance of maintaining the integrity of your customized part; and don’t let a supplier make general assumptions about the functionality and appearance of your part. A supplier may have produced a similar part, but the approach to manufacturing your part needs to be personalized.

Compile a list of important factors guiding your decision making for each part and use as a reference as you begin requesting quotes for a project. And it will be helpful in clearly conveying your recommendations for a supplier to purchasing. Assuming the lowest bidder is the right choice isn’t always the best option if cost isn’t your main concern for a specific part.