Beacon is proud to work with over 200 supply partners. Our range of suppliers suit the needs of all businesses regardless of size and we are proud to work with many local, small supply partners to bring locally sourced products to our customer's doors.
Hans Ziebeck, Director of Purchasing at Beacon, shares his tips on choosing the right supplier for small businesses.
How can small businesses scope out the best suppliers?
The first step in supplier selection is understanding your customer needs and requirements in terms of product, service and service level expectations. The importance of thorough research really cannot be overstated and the ability of a given supplier to service the overall customer requirement is obviously paramount.
In my experience, another good source of referral that is often overlooked by operators is in the competition. Do not be afraid of asking a select few competitors where they are sourcing products from as a starting point for finding new suppliers.
How should small businesses approach new suppliers to get the best deals?
Outside of working with a purchasing partner such as Beacon, our advice would be to ask for a blind quote first and foremost on key lines that will be required, before beginning any price negotiations.
Remember, whilst a ten per cent saving on 70 per cent of what you purchase may be compelling, if the remaining 30 per cent increases by 20 per cent then there is no overall saving at all.
What would be your advice to small businesses if they feel they aren’t getting the best from their suppliers?
Small businesses that are unhappy with the service from their supplier should firstly ask themselves why they are dissatisfied. Is it the price, the service, the sales representative, or is there simply a better offer available? Our advice to small businesses in this situation would be to meet with their existing suppliers, keeping all of the above questions in mind, and be completely open with their concerns, giving them the opportunity to resolve the issues.
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