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How to find the right supplier?

Developing an innovative product that doesn't exist yet is not an easy task. During the development process, stumble blocks emerge. Below our team took the time to answer some questions about what supplier might be the best fit for you and how to find them.

Let the supplier-search begin!

Our advice to help you out in finding a supplier

Finding a good supplier initially starts with knowing the quantities you will make and which volumes you will run. That may initially be less than later on, depending on your strategy. Once you have a good idea of the quantities you will run, you can look at the most suitable production techniques in terms of circulation, cost, and quality. Based on this, you can look for suppliers.

At first, you can start googling it yourself, but it’s good to know that there are in fact some companies or agencies that can help you with your search. There are many tools available to get to the right parties.

In a second phase it is a matter of evaluating different parties. Start with by talking to them and try to figure out what they can offer you. What certainly helps is having a 3D model, or at least a sketch or 2D drawings, something that the supplier can work with to evaluate the manufacturability of the parts you require.

Next you can start comparing. We would certainly recommend to not rely on costs alone. What is especially important with a supplier is a good relationship. They will be someone you’ll soon be depending on, so make sure there is a good base to create a good relationship with that supplier. Thinks to look for are: excellent service, the fact that you can work smoothly together, their proactiveness and that they think along with you. Even if a party is slightly more expensive, we always favour the better cooperation, not the cheaper option.

Tip: If you contact suppliers, know that those people are very busy. They get a lot of requests and practically respond and do follow-up management for free. So show some respect for that. What often works well is giving them a quick phonecall instead of sending them a bunch of questions via e-mail. This way, you’ll both save a lot of time and will be able to get started with that supplier much faster.

If you are unsure about a supplier or their quality, you can always ask them to show some relevant work that they have already done in the past for other customers. A good supplier will not have any problems with showing earlier work. They are often proud of that, and rightly so. What you can also do is ask for references. In that case, you ask a supplier if you can talk to his customers. Again, a good supplier will have no problems giving out this information.

We hope these tips & tricks will help you set up your supplier strategy!

If you’re in need of a good partner, we can always help you figure this out for your project. Interested? Let’s plan a quick meeting to talk this through!