You have decided to expand the capabilities of your printing business by outsourcing products that you do not have the capability of producing at your facility. You know that there are many sources available for outsourcing, but you want to make sure that the ones you choose will provide you with the product at the standards and value that you expect. Here are 5 tips to use when choosing your vendors:
- Get references from other printers – You probably know others that are in a similar business to you, or you should! Network with them and find out which vendors they are using and if they would recommend them.
- Use online search and reviews – There are websites like Yelp.com, ComplaintsBoard.com, and RipoffReport.com that have reviews of all types of businesses. You can also do a Google search for reviews and complaints for a company.
- If possible, visit the vendor and request a tour of their facilities. This is an excellent way to see the capabilities of the vendor, and can inspire you to offer new products that the vendor can provide. For safety and security reasons, not all vendors are willing to give tours, but it doesn’t hurt to ask.
- Place an order with the vendor. Make sure it is not really a rush order, but place it as a rush order. This way you can see how the vendor handles rush orders, and if they have problems completing the job on time, you can witness their problem resolution system.
- Make sure you have more than one vendor for each product or process that you plan to outsource. Keep in contact with all of your vendors regardless of if you have current needs for their services. This way when you need them, you will be up to date with them.
Remember, your vendors are an extension of your business. Choose them carefully, and treat them as an integral part of your business. Here’s to growing your business!