Finding a trustworthy and experienced supplier can be one of your most elusive purchasing challenges. In addition, suppliers play a key role in your ability to conduct business. It is to your benefit to develop strong supplier relationships.
Choosing the right supplier is crucial to business success. Good suppliers provide the right products and parts on time to specifications in the condition you ordered. They offer candid insight, make suggestions to improve your business, provide training, often provide terms, and provide you a relationship of trust and dependability.
Wrong suppliers, however, may impart upon you financial irregularities, counterfeit goods, and fly-by-night operations. Unfortunately, during times of market shortages, the electronic components industry attracts unscrupulous people and it is up to you to determine the credibility of your supplier.
When Inland Empire Components needs to qualify a vendor, we follow specific steps each time. The following steps are a few tricks we have honed over the years in order to motivate suppliers to do exactly what they say they are going to do.
The first step is to get your current supplier list into a database system so you can track who they are, what they sell, and rate their reliability. This doesn’t have to be an elaborate system. You can use Microsoft Excel, Access or some other contact management software to store the information. You want to be able to call, e-mail, fax and mail to your suppliers at will. In a perfect world, you should be able to look up your suppliers by name, manufacturer, part number, value-added services, etc.
We utilize a rating system with each of our suppliers. Our clients rely on us to provide quality products and services fast and we expect no less from our own suppliers. We measure suppliers on delivery, product quality and cost savings suggestions (CSS).
Before a supplier can sell to our company the firm must have the quality products and services we need and be able to deliver them on time. This criteria is challenging when procuring obsolete and end of life products.
Here are 10 ways to identify a trusted supplier and what we look for:
- Review company references to confirm validity of the entity
- Review the counterfeit mitigation plan and review the return policy
- Identify the quality ratings on the online services and watchdog organizations
- We look for suppliers who have a minimum five-year proven track record of success
- Contact another supplier in the same region to get feedback, particularly if the supplier is overseas
- We favor suppliers who have a third party certified quality management system
- Review their website. If they don’t have one it can raise a red flag
- Review Hoovers.com for company information
- Request samples and pictures and ask for the traceability of the part if they have this documentation available
- Ask the supplier to provide a test report if it is available.Responsive suppliers will respond with good information and deliver quality product over and over again
About Inland Empire Components:
Established in 1989, Inland Empire Components, Inc. (IEC) is a known, liked and trusted provider of procurement solutions to the buyers and engineers at original equipment and contract manufacturers.
IEC distributes the electronic parts and materials needed to keep manufacturing lines from going down. IEC specialized in challenging diminished supply chain solutions including spare parts, obsolete, hard-to-find procurement support for highly-allocated board-level electronic components as well as the commonly available or long lead time situations.
IEC provides a level of quality and service that exceeds the industry’s highest standards. With our local ESD compliant warehouse packed with millions of parts ready to ship today and billions more available from around the globe, IEC is recognized as a preferred vendor to some of the world’s largest OEMs and EMS Providers.
Inland Empire Components, Inc. (IEC)