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How to Find the Best Suppliers
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How to Find the Best Suppliers

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Summary: The best supplier displays the traits of a quality manufacturer, has good financial health, and makes timely delivery. There are several ways to determine a good supplier. Supply chain analytics can help finalize the supplier most aligned with your business interest. 

If you are in supply-side management, one of the biggest worries is finding and finalizing a trusted supplier. With an increasing number of fashion and clothing brands sourcing their materials and products from around the globe, vetting every supplier personally is an impossible task.

There are several ways in which a supplier's background and efficacy in delivery can be checked and verified. One is supply chain analytics, which can give a reasonable insight into a supplier’s track record. Checking financial health, the scope of scaling up operations, and references with experience in past purchases are some excellent determinants of a reliable supply partner. 

Using supply chain analytics to filter good suppliers 

With procurement going global in businesses, managers are having to rely increasingly on supply chain analytics to find out those who meet their specifications. Analytics is a system involving several processes, all of which rely on data mining and analysis for reliable information about products, suppliers, logistics, and delivery partners. Supply chain analytics is like preventive and diagnostic pills which can help avert a problem or alleviate it with proper procedures. Clothing companies have started to invest in a system of metrics and score sheets to evaluate a vendor. The vendor with the highest scores can be vetted for reliable deliveries before furnishing a Request For Quote (RFQ).

Tick these 10 boxes before finalising a supplier 

Procurement managers are, by nature, cautious. They have to be; otherwise, a marginal error can lead to catastrophic losses. This is why do not forget to tick these boxes before signing off on the dotted line with a supplier. 

supplier 

1. Check quality through certifications 

First and foremost, ask for certifications that vouch for their product quality. If a supplier is hesitant, then you need to step back. Give less weightage to your metric system. 

2. Client references to authenticate claims 

A tried-and-tested way of checking the background of vendors is to follow up with clients who have previously worked with them. This first-hand information is invaluable and can improve the accuracy of predictive supply chain analytics.  

3. Evaluate financial health 

A Thomasnet survey reported that 50 percent of buyers saw a supplier going unexpectedly out of business! Checking financial health and verifying historical data will help in understanding the financial condition of a vendor. 

4. Find out if pricing is competitive

In the fashion industry, meeting the right product specifications is a head start. But a procurement manager must take into account competitive pricing. A good bargain can get a company's wheels rolling big time and allow it to expand operations.   

5. Factor in the scalability of operations 

One of the key points in negotiating a deal with a vendor is not just ascertaining the present but also keeping an eye on the future. A vendor should have enough inventory, warehousing, and finance to scale up operations, if required, in the future. 

warehousing

6. Ascertain logistical possibilities 

While finalising a vendor, take the feedback of your logistics team. If manufacturing and price point are right but shipping and warehousing are not, then it can actually negate the competitive edge and lead to delays in delivery.  

7. Ask for lead time in deliveries 

Projected lead time in deliveries and the final delivery sheets can be matched to find out whether a supplier has stood by the promise. If a supplier cannot make these data available, then shipment tracking is not a priority for them. 

8. Find out about customer service 

Customer servicing begins when the orders have been given. If a seller is unresponsive or does not have resourceful customer support, reduce the weightage. 

9. Study the geopolitical climate 

Look at what the pandemic did to all businesses with global procurement chains. It is a part of a procurement manager’s job to keep an eye on geopolitical narratives. If a supplier comes from a high-risk area, then his capacity to follow through is weakened.  

10. Check terms and conditions

Never be in a hurry to sign on the dotted line. Always read the fine print. Find out the expected payment cycle and the terms of engagement in case of non-delivery of shipment to mitigate risks. 

procurement manager

Stop looking; get going with the best suppliers 

Whether you are a fashion startup or an established clothing brand, Fashinza makes your manufacturing effortless with its cutting-edge AI and extensive network of reliable suppliers. With Fashinza, you can be assured of a single-window solution to all your manufacturing requirements. If you are on the lookout for vendors for global procurement, you can trust Fashinza with your orders. Help us help you. Connect with Fashinza for sourcing all your apparel-related materials. 

Key takeaways 

  1. Fashion brands are a part of a dynamic industry with inhuman demands such as short production cycles and turnaround time. Investing in good supply chain analytics is a reliable way of vetting your vendor. 
  2. Checking out the financial health of the supplier tops the list of a procurement manager. Just having product capability is not enough. Financial report card gives insight into the scalability and flexibility of business operations.  
  3. Uncertainties due to geopolitical events come parcelled with a global procurement policy. To mitigate losses due to unforeseen events, it is essential to pick a vendor who operates in a climate conducive to business. 
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