1. Check that any potential supplier is a genuine trader? Nobody should ever consider sending off large amounts of money to companies that they have not vetted very carefully first? Yet people do and they get their fingers seriously burnt but there are ways to avoid that happening. Firstly check out what associations any potential suppliers are members of. And don't just assume they really do belong to an association just because they have a logo on their site, send an e.mail to the Membership department and they will be happy to confirm their membership. In the UK the main Association for suppliers of Promotional Merchandise are the British Promotional Merchandise Association (BPMA). The BPMA checks out a company when they first join and as long as they keep up their subscription they will remain a member. The BPMA can still list a company that has gone bankrupt as they do not do checks between subscription dates so do double check yourself.
2. Ask where thier premises are located, how big they are and how many people they employ. The internet is an amazing place where whole fantasy worlds can be created. Photographs of great looking people gazing out of beautiful office blocks and images of factories surrounded by woodlands and lakes all ripped off from other websites can create the illusion that your potential supplier is a large company when in fact it's just a one man band that works from his garden shed. Always go to the About Us and contacts section of a website, check out what they tell you about themselves and don't be fooled by what you see. Can you find an address and phone number easily? Does the phone get answered quickly and efficiently? Ask if you can visit their facilities even if you have no intention of doing so and see what reaction you get. Lastly look up the postcode of the company and check if their company is registered there and lastly a great check is to look up the postcode on Google Earth, if they are in the middle of a field or a row of houses then once again beware.
3. Who does your potential supplier supply to? Any good supplier will be only too happy to offer you lots of references of satisfied clients and if they don't then what do they have to hide? It is not uncommon on websites to see pages of company logos and list of Blue Chip names when in fact the website owner has never dealt with these companies at all. The chances of someone ever catching them out is zero and they know that. So ask specific questions and ask for one of two name of people in these big organisations that you can send a quick e.mail to for a reference.
4. Who does your potential supplier buy from? Wherever possible always buy as close to the source of the product as you can. Every link in a supply chain adds costs to your products so keeping the chain short will always reduce your costs. In the UK there is a well established supply chain consisting of a manufacturer, a printer and a distributor. The manufacturer sells the product to the distributor and he pays the printer to brand the product for him. If you can deal with a distributor who also prints the products you will definitely save money, so always check if your potential supplier prints in-house or ends it out to be printed.
As long as you make these basic checks you should have no problem at all in finding a great supplier of promotional merchandise. Check, check and double check and if you are still not sure then ask your friends or colleagues where they buy theirs, a personal recommendation is always the preferred option.
Article Source: https://www.bharatbhasha.com
Article Url: https://www.bharatbhasha.com/finance-and-business.php/175758
Article Added on Thursday, October 15, 2009
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