How to Select the Right Suppliers

thinking-who-to-hireUndoubtedly, selecting the right suppliers is one of the most daunting tasks website owners may contend with early in the redesign project. Requirements vary greatly, and so are qualifications. The process need not be arduous, however. Here is a simple guide map in selecting the best suppliers for the project especially those suppliers that can contribute in reducing the costs and risks involved.

Take note that suppliers are not limited to website designers alone, but also include project manager, graphic artist, content writer, copywriter or editor, web designer, HTML coder, CMS developer etc. and even hosting provider. A person may do multiple roles or there could be many individual providers for each role.

 

1) Evaluate your needs

Internal and external factors affect the kind of suppliers each organization needs. Evaluating these factors carefully is a must. Failure to meet the project’s expectations happens when expectations are not defined and documented in the first place. It is always best to know your business needs. With this, you’d know what you want to achieve by buying services from a digital agency Philippines exactly instead of simply paying for the services rendered.

Unless you are following a strict timeframe for the redesign project, set a deadline for the supplier selection process. However, this should not pressure you to pick a supplier because the deadline is near.

2) Use a checklist

interview-supplierImagine what your ideal supplier is. What makes a perfect supplier for you? List it down in terms of attributes.  Consider characterizing the items into broader categories, and assign weighted values for each if the attributes are too many to list down. Contact your shortlisted individuals or companies using the checklist you’ve created as your guideline. This keeps things in perspective.

Spend time researching for the most reliable supplier. Use a variety of channels. Scout online, but also combine recommendations, directories, trade associations, business advisors, exhibitions and trade press so you can broaden the base where you can choose from. Can a supplier give you what you want and when you need it? Is the supplier financially secure? How long has it been established? These are just some of the questions to consider.

Further, there are at least five factors that should influence your supplier selection. Each factor ensures that you don’t overlook crucial requirements. The questions below should be asked directly to the supplier, and the answers to these can either make or break the choice.

a. Experience

          – Who are your current clients?

          – Do you have a portfolio that I can view?

          – Can I talk to any of your previous or current clients?

          – Have you done a similar project before?

          – Can I see some samples?

          – Do you have a SOP for this kind of project?

b. Quality

          – What is the technical expertise of your people?

          – How will you ensure that the project is of high quality?

          – Do you have project success metrics?

          – How well do you understand my requirements?

          – What is your focus – project needs or specs?

          – Can you prepare notarized contracts?

c. Responsiveness

          – Is the information in the quotation complete?

          – Will I be contacted if there are any contract, schedule or technical issue?

          – Who will contact me in case of an emergent problem?

          – How do you make adjustments in case of a technical problem to ensure on-time delivery?

d. Schedule

          – How many moths do you need to finish the project?

          – What is the schedule and what is its basis?

          – Is there an absolute deadline?

          – How will it affect my project if your time is tight?

e. Price

          – Can you explain the price?

          – How reasonable is the price?

          – What are included in the package?

          – What are the payment terms and conditions?

          – Should I expect additional prices after the project completion?

 

3) Analyze your options

which-supplier-to-chooseBuild a manageable shortlist. Review only the most serious prospects. Pick the ones that outshine the rest based on your checklist. A proactive approach is helpful at this stage. Conduct a supplier audit of your top three suppliers to determine which is the best potential fit.

Ask for a quotation and, if possible, a sample or samples. Compare the suppliers in lieu with your most important consideration. For example, faster delivery and high-quality website are most important to you, so the location may not necessarily matter.

Any client may emerge in this phase with unrealistic expectations. In particular, it may not be aware of its responsibilities as a client or the services to be rendered for the price. Resources are essential but focus more on the ability of the supplier to convert these resources into working capabilities that, in turn, create customer-facing competencies.

 

4) Make a decision

Trust your information. At times, it is rather easier to compromise salient issues by focusing too much on deliverables and milestones. Maintain perspective regarding the requirements and weights you’ve given to a particular supplier. Nonetheless, decide based on importance along with scores.

Meet the potential supplier in person before signing any document. Make sure that the supplier is the one who is going to do the job. Agree on service levels before the project starts.

Don’t buy from too many suppliers. Just keep the list manageable and cost-effective especially those suppliers that are strategic to the success of your business. Outsourcing is most effective when managed as a lifecycle and not necessarily as a one-off transaction.

 

5) Develop a relationship

are-you-the-right-supplierRelationships are critical for the long-term success of any project. By now, you have already found a supplier that can truly dedicate its time and resources towards accomplishing the goals of the project. Documented expectations, as well as open communication lines, will reduce the headaches. Nonetheless, identify potential issues by doing regular follow-ups.

Strong relationships are a win-win situation. Only those suppliers with a partnership approach can do this. The supplier should strive to provide you with the best services possible.

 

6) Monitor performance

Continuous improvement is only possible with ongoing evaluation. Even the most credible supplier slips up occasionally. Gather and analyze performance data regularly in addition to conducting intermittent follow-ups. Through this, corrective actions may be incorporated immediately after the problem emerges or even before an issue into a problem.

Keep tabs on the work of the supplier, making sure that it is fulfilling its end of the agreement.

 

In sum, there are several ways to ensure that you are not subjecting yourself to situations that could be potentially damaging to your business and ensuring that you are getting on-time, within-the-budget services. The processes outlined above ensures getting a high-quality redesigned website.

 

Image credits: Forbes.com | Intelex.com | BusinessInternetConsultant.com | Kollewin.com

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