The following tips should help in that quest:
1) Look at what others have to say about your options
The beauty of the Information Age is there's no shortage of stories online about almost any company you might choose to buy from - in the form of customer reviews, according to CXL. While you might be wise to avoid taking any one review as representative of a supplier's quality, when there are a host of positive reviews that specifically mention the things you're looking for in a supply chain partner, that's a good indicator that you've landed on the right option.
When you're starting a relationship with a new supplier, it's important to not come in with a slew of highly complicated demands and requirements, CXL advised. While you might have complex issues you're dealing with, you cannot expect companies to be able to understand all the intricacies of your business right out of the gate. Just like anything else, you're trying to build a relationship from the ground up.
3) Make sure your partner will treat you right
That having been said, you do need to know that any supplier you choose to purchase from is willing to work closely with you to ensure everything goes as you hope, according to sales expert Jim Logan. For instance, you might need support when buying and using a new product in your office - will that supplier provide it, or farm it out to a third party that you don't really have any relationship with?
4) Try to guarantee you will be properly updated
In the supply chain, visibility is everything, and if you don't have it you might find yourself in an extremely difficult position, Logan added. When trying to make a purchasing decision, it's important to get assurances from your new partners that you will be able to get the full view of where your shipments are and when you will receive them.
5) Identify what your problems have been in the past
Your company has undoubtedly experienced both successes and setbacks in your purchasing decisions, so you would be wise to take a look at your history to figure out what's worked, what hasn't, and why, according to B2B Marketing. Your findings should help inform better decisions in the future.
6) Don't settle for the first decent option
When you're looking for new suppliers, you're likely to find a lot that can provide what you're looking for, B2B Marketing said. However, it's important to get a number of options together and compare and contrast their positives and negatives. Getting quotes and trying to nail down particulars could go a long way toward helping you make better decisions.