Even the best supply chain strategy can fail if you don’t work with the right vendors, especially when it comes to procurement companies. Procurement companies make up one part of your supply chain team, but they play an important role in helping you get what you need to make your business run smoothly. Here are seven tips for getting the most out of procurement companies and making sure your entire supply chain process goes off without a hitch.
1) Work with Professional Suppliers
Working with professional suppliers provides a number of benefits, from reducing overall costs and ensuring quality to ensuring that your brand is consistent across all areas. If you’re looking for a supplier that will be able to work within your budget and provide you with high-quality products, then look for a company that specializes in procurement services.
2) Work with Different Suppliers
If you want to increase your odds of getting a good deal, consider working with different suppliers. The more competitive bids you get, and particularly if you’re able to shop around for raw materials and various services, the better deal you should be able to strike. However, it’s important that once you’ve worked out your pricing structure that you don’t go back on it.
If a certain supplier has given you a good rate and provided exceptional service throughout your business relationship (even if they didn’t win out in round one), do your best not to break that trust; it’ll only come back to haunt you later on down the line.
3) Keep Track of Purchases
In many cases, business owners can save money on a purchase by tracking how much they spend on different vendors. For example, say you have three companies that you work with regularly for office supplies. If one company offers a particularly low rate on pens and a different company has a great price on notebooks, it makes sense to spread your purchases between them in order to get better deals overall.
You don’t want to make these kinds of decisions from memory alone—keep track of all your purchasing with tools like QuickBooks or Excel spreadsheets.
4) Stay Organized
These days, there are more avenues than ever for procuring goods and services. Before engaging with a vendor, ensure you have an organized system for determining exactly what you want; if possible, share your wants with multiple vendors so they can create competitive bids. Once you’ve gotten pricing information from several suppliers, make sure you carefully vet each business to make sure it can provide quality products or services at reasonable prices. It never hurts to be too careful when it comes to spending your money. Your end goal is getting what you need at a price that’s fair both now and in the future; don’t let anyone take advantage of that.
5) Optimize Purchasing Efficiency
Working with procurement consulting firms may seem like an unnecessary cost—after all if you can purchase goods or services yourself, why would you hire someone else? But there are reasons to consider using a third-party sourcing agency. Procurement companies can help save time and money by acting as intermediaries between vendors and clients, which allows businesses to focus on what they do best. Rather than spending time searching for new suppliers or negotiating with current vendors, procurement companies handle these responsibilities on your behalf. They’re also able to gain more control over pricing and service delivery than single buyers can achieve.
6) Put Security Measures in Place
You don’t want your China sourcing company to get hacked or stolen from. This is one reason why it’s so important to keep data secure, including making sure that everyone in your office is using up-to-date equipment and anti-virus software. Also, you need to know exactly where all sensitive files are located and how they are transported offsite.
You can ensure protection by working with a company that has cyber security training for employees—the same kind that a bank or a hospital would have. They also should have sophisticated ways of protecting information, such as with passwords and firewalls. If they don’t seem very concerned about security measures, find another service provider with a better reputation for maintaining yours.
7) Create Good Communication Channels
One of your most important responsibilities as a business owner is ensuring that you and your vendors and contractors can communicate with each other effectively. Make sure you have clear channels set up for every form of communication so you don’t miss anything important.
The clearer those lines are, the less time everyone will spend chasing information around and double-checking details. It also opens up more time for professional development as you can all move forward with confidence. This might sound like a lot, but we’re sure there are all sorts of things we didn’t think about – what is it that really helps boost productivity? Leave us a comment and let us know!