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The 4 Traits to Look for When Choosing a Vendor

Regardless of your company’s function, odds are high that you rely on an outside vendor for some sort of support to help you accomplish your mission. At Mankato Packaging, we rely on several different vendors to supply us with what we need to help our own customers succeed. Learning what to look for when selecting our vendors was a long process, but putting the time in before deciding which company to work with has really paid off.

Our President, Sandy Dorn, shares her insight about our vendor selection process: “When we choose vendors, we look for suppliers that we can depend on to deliver quality material in a timely manner in order to meet our customers’ needs.  Another key ingredient for us is having a supplier who we can exceed normal lead-time to assist us in meeting our customers’ timelines.” Quality of product, dependable delivery time, and reliable customer service are the three main characteristics our company looks for when selecting and maintaining vendor relationships.

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Your company may have unique must-haves when it comes to selecting a vendor, but Forbes offers four main traits that every industry should consider when selecting a vendor:

  1. Cost – The cost of a vendor is obviously important to consider, but it should never be the only thing you consider. Savings are always great, but you want to make sure that the quality of your products and relationship with your customers will not be compromised.
  2. Capability– You need your vendor to be able to get your job done, but even more than that, you need to know you can rely on them to act with moral capability – will they do the right thing when you aren’t looking?
  3. Communication – Excellent communication is a cornerstone for any successful relationship. When going through the vendor selection process, ask yourself if the company is responsive, honest, clear, and transparent.
  4. Character – “…once a company and its vendors’ characters align, it will be a hard bond for any competitor to break” (Forbes). Do your research and pay attention during sales meetings to help you decide if the character of the vendor aligns with your company’s. If they don’t, it is not likely that the relationship will last, even if the other three traits are met.

(source: Forbes)

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We recommend keeping these four traits of a successful vendor relationship in mind when selecting any vendor to work with in 2020. When you take the time before signing a contract, your increase the likelihood of a relationship that you can rely on to support your growth and success for many years to come, which is invaluable regardless of the industry you operate in.

If you are looking for a new packaging provider, we invite you to give us a call to see if we might align well with your company! We welcome the opportunity to help you find the best packaging vendor for your needs.