Supply chain stability: Red flags businesses need to avoid
Current global supply chain disruptions due to the recent global economic uncertainties are forcing many businesses to reconsider their suppliers and look for alternatives. In fact, many businesses appear willing to make compromises to keep materials flowing and production ongoing to meet growing demand. But the last thing business owners want is to allow the current supply chain issues to force them into making hasty decisions. Supply chain stability is essential to the progress of any business. In the quest to ensure this stability, business owners are or should be keeping their eyes wide open for avoidable supplier red flags that can do their businesses more harm than good. There are several red fags no business should ignore when choosing or working with suppliers.
Health and safety compromise is one of the first red flags business owners need to be careful about, especially after the lessons learned from COVID. This is particularly important for businesses in the food industry. It is essential to partner with suppliers or manufacturers dedicated to offering products that meet high hygiene standards, not suppliers that disregard health and safety in an attempt to cut corners. For example, manufacturers and suppliers like Aspen Stainless Steel are dedicated to manufacturing and supplying stainless steel that meets a high demand for hygienic performance and safety.
Little experience, or lack of it, is another red flag. A supplier needs to have enough experience producing the items a business needs. It’s a bad idea to work with a supplier that promises they can make the products you need without having adequate experience as they would be unable to meet your business’s requirements. Of course, every supplier is interested in taking on new challenges, but no business wants to be a supplier’s proverbial scapegoat, especially in this challenging and demanding economic climate.
A steady decline in supplier quality or a lack of motivation is another negative factor to be mindful of. Unsurprisingly, some suppliers are looking for ways to cut corners on quality to save more. But a drop in quality standards of the supplies will lead to a drop in your business’s product quality. This will not only affect sales but also put a dent in your brand image. Today, the most successful businesses aim to work with suppliers that drive innovation. Innovation is important when looking to drive customer loyalty through brand reputation. Therefore, it is advisable not to partner with suppliers stuck to outmoded ways of doing things.
Finally, as recent times have shown, sales volumes can change at any time, rising or falling in response to various external factors. Businesses need to know how flexible their suppliers are to accommodate both high quantities and small quantity orders. For many startups or small businesses, the immediate aim may be to work with suppliers that focus on small quantities. However, there is always the risk of needing to search for a large-quantity supplier when you outgrow the small quantity option. This will also affect costs, as a new supplier may charge extra.