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How to Purchase
How do I locate potential suppliers?
You can find and reach suppliers through various channels.
- Existing suppliers. Contact them and see who they can recommend.
- Competitors’ suppliers. Try and find out who they use.
- Trade associations and trade journals. Consult both to find recommendations.
- Directories. E.g. Yell and others.
- Business directory websites. E.g. the UK Trade directory and Scoot
- Suggestions from employees and friends. You never know what contacts people have.
How do I decide which suppliers to use?
- Make a shortlist of potential suppliers. If you let shortlisted suppliers know you are shopping around you can often secure better terms.
- Ask them for details. I.e. product information, price lists, and anything else of relevance to the deal.
- Get quotes. I.e. for payment terms and discounts. Use these in negotiations with other suppliers.
- Compare potential suppliers. See how they measure up against each-other in terms of price, quality of service, reputation, location, speed and frequency of delivery, and order size.
- Visit potential long-term suppliers. Assess their suitability up close by visiting them and their premises.
- Negotiate. See what prices and discounts you can organise for yourself – though don’t negotiate too hard and risk developing an unhealthy relationship and risking quality.