Without the necessary materials to make your business tick, you’re unable to provide a good service or product to your customers. To ensure that you’re never in such a position, it’s important to get a good, reliable supplier who’ll always deliver what you need. Here are five signs that your supplier(s) are doing what they should.
Always on time
Your supplier should always deliver what you need on time. Punctuality is, for many businesses, a tell-tale sign of reliability. Should their order be late or not come at all, the affected business becomes stuck and needs to search for a new supplier, which can take time and money, particularly at such short notice.
A good supplier should not charge more than the going rate for the product or service you need. If, for example, you can only pay so much for a print run of magazines, it’s important that you see what different suppliers charge. Look at a few to see if there’s any difference in cost per job, while hidden charges such as VAT should also be spotted.
Encyclopaedic knowledge of their sector is a must for any supplier. Should you be looking for, say, sheet metal machinery, a company like Clarence Jones should be your first port of call. It makes zero sense to go to a supplier that doesn’t know what it is talking about; knowledge of their sector is a must to ensure you get the best possible products for your business.
As a sign of reliability, your supplier should be legally sound and doing all of their business without breaking any laws. This means:
- Being VAT registered – you can check if any supplier is by using the Europa website
- Having a registered company number. All businesses should have this, as well as a VAT number if earning over £99,000 a year
- Being registered with HMRC for tax purposes
To check that your would-be supplier is legitimate, it’s worth checking the bottom of their website – that’s where you’ll usually find registered company and VAT numbers.
Great customer service
A good supplier should always strive to provide the best possible service for you. They should be available when needed, be it in person, over the phone or by email. If there’s any hiccup over delivery or any manufacturing faults, they should give you a discount as a form of compensation.
Finally, they should be fully aware of your rights as a consumer; Consumer Contracts Regulations are one such set of laws to refer to if suppliers let you down in any way.