Finding the Right Supplier: A Challenge for Indian SMEs

supplier for SMEs, supplier, supplier management,

Finding the right supplier for SMEs is always a daunting task. It might seem like there will always be people to sell or supply their products but that is only for the final product consumer relationship who usually buys anything in an insignificant quantity. In terms of an SME as a consumer, it would demand larger orders and you will have to abide by the complete details of the supplier in such a case. 

It is usually seen, in the case of SMEs, that a number of big suppliers don’t trust them with their products or that understanding for timely delivery and timely payment is not there. In such a case, it becomes even tougher to find the right supplier. The right supplier needs to have all the good quality in terms of delivery but it also needs to be the same size as the SME. If your enterprise is a small firm, a large supplier might not take your orders and similarly, if you are a large enterprise, you will not be giving orders to smaller suppliers

It is in this manner that it becomes a complicated task to find the right supplier who would fulfill all our demands but at the same time doesn’t treat us as a small scale firm. Let us see how an SME can find the right supplier and overcome this challenge:

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  1. Location: Always think about the location while choosing your supplier. For a supplier that stays far off from where your business is based, it is only natural that there will arise certain problems at some point in time. The supplies will be coming from far places and are bound to get late once in a while. If your suppliers are in your local area, then first you can be ensured of no delays, you can go there yourself to collect, and hold them accountable immediately if something goes wrong.
  2. Set your criteria: It is important for any new business to make a set criterion or framework in which they would function. Every SME is different and has many different ideas of what are the things that they consider important and what they don’t. So when you are going to look for suppliers, if you have this criterion prepared, it will be easier for you to choose from a variety of options of suppliers.
  3. Compare different suppliers: Three major points for comparison of different suppliers are:
    1) Reputation
    2) Business type
    3) Security.
    A good supplier should and will always have a good reputation in the market. While looking, you must ask around about the reputation in your circles. Suppliers are also of different types: wholesale, dropshipping, or a private label manufacturer. Lastly, it is important to look at what kind of security and surety a supplier provides. Considering these 3 points, one can make the right decision while choosing a supplier.
  4. Multiple suppliers: While having a single supplier always has its advantages, it develops a relationship between you and your supplier but sometimes given the conditions, one can also go for multiple suppliers just to always have a backup in case of emergency. 

These are some of the ways you can overcome the challenge of finding the right supplier for your business. It is always tough and time taking but once it is done right, you wouldn’t have to look for another supplier for a long time.