When looking to purchase promotional products it is important to choose a good supplier. This will help prevent delivery of bad quality goods/ late delivery and ensure a higher chance of customer satisfaction. According to the bpma companies use the following methods to source a supplier:
The first method is usually online research. Many people go to Google for help in order to find a supplier. This method can yield very promising results as it usually delivers a lot of options. Sometimes there are even sites, which rate certain suppliers, making it easy for companies to distinguish between good, and bad (e.g. alibaba.com). However, sometimes it is hard to find a good supplier, especially when sourcing form the Far East as the standards of quality and work ethics might differ and Internet presence is scarce.
This is why many firms, use suppliers they have previously worked with as this delivers more security in receiving good quality products.
Many firms even rely on recommendations from acquainted firms and use the suppliers, which were recommended to them. Although this has its risks as well, the recommendations are usually only used when they come from a reliable source.
Other forms of looking for a supplier include attending exhibitions, events, catalogues, personal calls or visits and advertising. These are all valid methods, although their effectiveness and speed is usually not as good as online research.
Now that you have all your options lined up, lets see what you have to consider when looking for a supplier. A recent survey conducted by the bpma has found the following results of what companies are looking for when choosing a supplier.
Many of these points are important characteristics of good suppliers. However in our opinion, by covering the following points, you will be sure to get your money’s worth.
The most important feature to look out for in a supplier is price. Look for a supplier, who can give you a competitive price. This should be low enough to give you a good margin on the order your client has placed with you. If you are a company looking for branded goods, try and keep the price low however not so low that it might influence the quality of the product. Let a few suppliers give you a quote before you decide on your final choice. However do not neglect other important characteristics like customer service experience and compliance of products with regulations or your initial goal of saving money may cost you even more.
A supplier should always understand your requirements.
Although this is supposed to be a given, many suppliers, UK, EU and Far East, may not fully understand your requirements. Although this usually concerns cases of very complex or bespoke items, it might happen even if your request is simpler. This is why you should look out for a supplier who you can communicate with the best and who will try and change his/her service based on your needs. This will make it more likely that you are satisfied with the end product and it will save you a lot of time and effort.
If you decide to get your products from the Far East for example, then it is often advised to check with product compliance regulations regarding import into the UK. If you are looking for a promotional product, which consists mainly of food, then you need to check with the UK’s importing guidelines for food items. Depending on which country you import them from these can be very strict. Other regulations concern e.g. the compounds of plastic items and the chemicals found in them. Be absolutely sure to ask for product compliance before you get the items shipped or they might end up being stuck in customs.
Customer service experience
Although this might not be the first thing you will look for in a supplier, it should be one of your key requirements. Choosing a supplier who has a good amount of customer experience will save you a lot of time and effort, explaining your query, as they usually know how to deal with certain requests. If you are looking for a bespoke product, find a supplier, who specialises in that field and already has had past orders with other clients. We have had a substantial amount of experience with bespoke product design and branded promotional products, so in choosing us you will never go wrong.
By covering the aforementioned basic points you can be sure to receive what you were looking for! In some cases it is even better to take a small price increase than order goods of low quality, as low quality products might not convey the intended brand image you wanted to achieve with your promotional products.
If you have any more queries or would like to enquire about our services, contact us per Email or Telephone.