Getting a company up and running takes a lot of work. You’ll burn plenty of midnight oil as you get your products and location ready, hire your first team, and set up accounting programs.
Another important task is to establish solid relationships with reputable suppliers and manufacturers. Let’s start by looking at what happens when you’re partnered with a less-than-stellar manufacturer.
The Ripple Effect of an Unreliable Partner
If one of your suppliers gives you a poor-quality product, it can negatively impact your company’s reputation. For example, when Toyota had to recall cars that were built from 2009 to 2011 because of a faulty accelerator, the suppliers that Toyota was working with caused the public to have a negative view of the company.
Everything you work with must be of outstanding quality, even the smallest rubber seals and fasteners. If you try to get by with cheap seals versus spending more money on good-quality materials and construction, your products are more likely to fail and send customers elsewhere.
This also goes for speed of service. If one or more of the vendors you work with is slow to fill orders, and/or is always running out of key supplies, it will hinder your ability to create your own product and keep your own inventory well-stocked. This can lead to a delay in filling your own orders, which your customers will not appreciate.
How Good Suppliers Positively Impact Startups
Working with reliable manufacturers will ensure that what you sell to your valued customers is made with top-notch components that are built to last. A good manufacturer will also keep their inventory well stocked and pride themselves on their quick delivery times, which means you receive the supplies you need on time, or even ahead of schedule. All this enables you to be a start-up that ships its products in a timely manner, while being proud of what you produce.
Other Things to Look for/ Avoid in a Supplier
Before you select a vendor, spend some time doing some research to ensure the company is reputable, offers outstanding products, and adheres to industry standards of safety. For example, Apple Rubber not only offers a huge selection of o-rings in standard and non-standard sizes, their site includes information about the certifications they hold for exemplary adherence to safety regulations.
A guarantee that you pay the lowest possible price may seem to come with a catch, but typically it’s a sign that a supplier is interested in maintaining long-term business partnerships with their clients. However, be wary of conflicts of interest. A manufacturer doing business with a relative or an old colleague risks undermining their reliable reputation with preferential treatment.
Nurture a Long-time Business Partnership
You put far too much time and energy into your startup to watch it fail due to an unreliable manufacturer. By taking the time to research which suppliers are best in your industry — and by working to nurture a mutually beneficial partnership — your products will be better quality, your customers will be happier, and your bottom line will grow.