5 Ways to Identify Reliable Suppliers and Authentic Products
Besides being the right thing to do for your customers and your business, there are major benefits to working with reliable and trusted suppliers. Here are five things to look when identifying a supplier partner.
1. QCA Certification
Has the supplier taken the time to go through the rigorous and lengthy process of receiving their QCA certification? If so, it means that they have validated standards for product safety, quality, social compliance, environmental stewardship and supply chain security. As a distributor, you can have confidence working with a QCA-certified supplier because the products are safe and the supply process has been vetted, giving you and your customers peace of mind, as well as lasting, high-quality products.
Although you may save a few dollars, you have to question the ethics of a company that is willing to sell counterfeits to its customers. The product quality of a counterfeit item is likely to to be poor, which can damage your credibility as a distributor and may also reduce the number of brand impressions your customer receives if the end-user perceives the item as defective or low quality. Remember, a faulty product leaves a negative impression of the brand printed on it, not necessarily the product itself.
3. Case Studies
Does the supplier feature case studies on social media or on their website? It’s important to see that the products are user-friendly and can be used in a variety of ways. This also helps you, the distributor, come up with new and fresh ideas for your customers with credible, proven solutions.
It’s one thing to sell, but it’s another to educate. Your supplier should be a go-to resource, so you can be an expert when providing your customer with solutions to fit their needs. Your sales representative is a great resource, but digital resources, like infographics and product-demo videos, can also be helpful. Look for downloadable resources, customizable fliers and relevant product education.
Does the supplier offer any authentic, patented designs? Any supplier that is willing to spend months in focus groups and create various iterations of a product until they are proud of supplying it should be viewed as a reliable supplier. And buying patented products ensures you’re seen as a reputable vendor who values the business relationship and innovative, quality products over making a quick buck.