It’s been a hard year for everyone and we all want to be understanding… to a point. Although they aren’t as good as they used to be, you’ve been willing to cut your supplier a break- but how much longer should you let things slide? Changing suppliers is never easy, especially when you have a long working relationship. When you start to get that uneasy feeling, it’s time to start evaluating whether your supplier relationship is still working for you. Sometimes cutting ties and moving on is what is best for your business. Here are a few cut-and-dry signs it’s time to call it quits:
- Your supplier is non-communicative. Of course, we all want a supplier who quickly responds to questions or concerns and provides regular status updates. You can’t hope to run an efficient supply chain if you have to wait three days for a response. True respect is a prompt call back or reply the same-day, always. That’s how FPC does it.
- Benefits of reshoring outweigh offshoring. In the past, there were major cost savings to moving production overseas, but increasingly, the benefits of reshoring or bringing manufacturing “back home” outweigh the benefits of offshoring. Consider the following:
– Are the costs in the country where your supplier is based slowly increasing?
– Is it difficult to communicate and negotiate with suppliers because they are in a different time zone?
– Are you concerned that disruptive, black swan events (such as global pandemics or the Suez Canal blockage) will impact your supplier’s ability to deliver?
- Product quality is slipping. Whenever you first signed the contract, you were content with the results. However, down the line, if the innovation or product quality is declining, don’t stick around and risk losing your competitive advantage. Often, part of the problem is dealing with a supplier who doesn’t care about what you care about.
- Reliability is dropping. How often do you receive a shipment that is either late, damaged, incomplete, or incorrect? These issues are highly time-consuming and costly to resolve. You can shrug it off once in a while, but if it is a regular occurrence, perhaps the supplier is no longer putting in the same effort they once did to provide consistent, high-quality service, and you should look elsewhere.
- You’re reliant on a single-source supplier. It’s risky to lean heavily on one supplier for a critical product or service, especially if that supplier is far away or you have other concerns. Over 30+ years, ForeFront has built multiple vendor relationships, so we always have another option or idea to get what our customers need. While we have multiple vendor options, rest assured that the integrity and quality of the packaging material will always meet the specified requirements.
- You don’t get along well. Ever find negotiations stressful and frustrating? Or worse- have you ever had a supplier lie to you about expectations only to make you look foolish in front of your customers? If you struggle in these conversations, you deserve a supplier with whom you can be straight with and nurture a more positive relationship.
- Unwillingness to problem-solve. Many vendors are only interested in supplying you and cannot be reached to make changes or troubleshoot issues. This unwillingness to problem-solve can impact production, product quality, and your customer satisfaction levels. Your supplier should act as an extension of your business, a partner that understands your needs and will go any extra steps to ensure you are pleased with the service and the result.
You know what you’re paying for packaging- but what is it really costing you in time, stress and worry? At ForeFront, we put our customers and their projects first. With a dedicated team of supply chain professionals at your side, things just work. We take our customers to the next level with prompt, honest, and reliable services. If you are dealing with any of the issues I mentioned above, please contact us today. I promise it will be worth your time.
ForeFront Packaging designs and implements packaging and supply chain solutions for food brands that free up time, reduce stress, and save money. Review our services here.