Is your supplier customer obsessed? Does he/she (your sales rep) understand your business and product usage sufficiently to correctly support your needs and offer suggestions to save you time and money? Are you offered contact and ordering options that are useful and beneficial? When you talk, do they listen?
Do they have a strong brand? Does your supplier offer you more value than the usual store or web retailer? Does it have a unique personality through special offers, the ability to fulfill all of your needs – even if it is outside of its standard list of products - and provide salespeople who are knowledgeable and inspire trust? Does it provide information and topics of interest that are helpful to you
Is their online experience a good one? By next year, over 50% of all sales are expected to be made over the internet. Much of the remaining 50% will be influenced by on line information. Does your supplier have a user friendly, feature rich website? Do you regularly read their emails and expect useful information?
Above all, don’t be complacent. Even if you periodically feel good about your current suppliers, a supplier evaluation and comparison will help both you and the supplier make positive changes.
Until Next Time, Richard Blumberg, The Print Maven
Richard Blumberg has almost 30 years experience as a distributor of Imaging equipment and supplies. He was an owner of Richard Young Products and American Ribbon and Toner and is currently an officer of American Toner and Ink Corporation (http://www.amertoner.com)