How do you select a reliable supplier?

As a successful entrepreneur, you know your customers and the competition, you are aware of what's playing on the market and you master your trade. Fine! But there's another important aspect: your suppliers. Thanks to the following tips, you will select a reliable supplier that provides quality.

A good supplier management, how do you get started on this?

How do you get started on a good supplier management?

Many entrepreneurs investigate who their customers and competitors are, but often invest less time in the search for a reliable supplier. However, a well-organised supplier management has a big influence on your delivery times, the supplied quality as well as your image. After all, each supplier has its advantages and disadvantages, and there are often reflected on the customers.

The first criteria to determine who to look for best are linked to your expectations and business model. Do you sell products yourself? Are you a repairer? Who are your customers, and what do they expect exactly? 

Tip: determine what a reliable supplier means to you.

  • What quality does the supplier offer? Does this match your expectations?
  • Is his price rather high or rather low within that sector?
  • Does the supplier guarantee a punctual delivery?
  • Does the supplier have a good reputation?
  • What do you expect from this supplier in the long term?
  • Can the supplier be contacted fast and easily? Does he speak your language?
  • What is the general service like? Can you contact him with all your questions?

Have a look how we address this at TVH.

Compare different players on the market

Don't compare apples to oranges on the supplier market.

Customer references form a good starting point. Via official organisations you can find a lot of useful info about potential partners. Many companies display testimonials or references from customers on their site.

Are you not completely confident of this info? That is of course possible ... Sometimes these stories have indeed been presented more attractive than they actually were. So feel free to probe one of these other customers for their satisfaction. A brief mail or short phone call can quickly eliminate a lot of doubt.

Tip: comparing apples to oranges? No way! That is why we recommend calling up multiple offers and comparing the different players on the market.

What can you expect from a good supplier?

Che cosa puoi aspettarti da un buon fornitore?

You don't simply pick a good supplier based on his range.

A constant optimisation of his internal and external processes, products and service contribute to a long-lasting successful relationship.

Continuous investments and the preventive control of all incoming goods, in turn, also contribute to an optimal service.

  • Are the terms and conditions of sale clear and easy to consult?
  • Is the contract clear?
    • Does the supplier meet the customs legislation? Does he, just like TVH, have an AEO-license?
    • What certificates are important in your sector and which ones does the supplier have to comply with? These are our awards & certificates.
  • Who can you turn to in case of complaints?
    • Does the supplier offer technical assistance?

Tip: have a look at what licenses the supplier has and which terms and conditions of sale apply.

How do you know that the supplies provides quality goods?

Of course you expect a high quality service and products.

But how will you make that safe choice?

Tip: keep these things in mind when making your decision:

  • Does it concern a European company with European legislation?
  • Does the supplier have a good return process?
  • How does the supplier select his own suppliers?
  • Does the supplier offer a warranty?
  • Are the products durable?

Here you can discover how TVH guarantees an optimal quality, and as a picture is worth a thousand words, we also like to refer you to this amusing video. 

View our quality movie


Karen, TVH blogger

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