Every original equipment manufacturer (OEM) has found themselves in the process of selecting a supplier at some point in time. Some struggle to find the right match, and find themselves in this position more often, while others are lucky enough to form a great partnership and go decades without making a switch. Either way, if you do find yourself in this position, how do you know where to start? How do you make sure you make the right choice in the end?

Start with the Basics

First, identify what you’re looking for in an OEM supplier. As you’re mapping out the quotes you’ve been given, remember choosing a supplier should be more than a numbers decision. Saving a few bucks on a certain part may not be worth it if the supplier fails to measure up in other areas. Total cost of ownership is a more important measure. This includes competitive pricing, quality, transactions and relationship.  

Strive for balance between price and quality, as you often get what you pay for. Quality products are a must. However, when quality is largely equal, how does that help you make your decision? You’ll likely find yourself narrowing down your options to a few suppliers that all have similar prices and a promise for quality. If that’s the case, then consider another very important factor: the people.

Consider the Commitment

Your OEM supplier should be looked at as a partner and an asset to your team. However, that will only be the case if you factor in the people when making your decision. When evaluating potential suitors, consider the culture. Do they operate under certain procedures or beliefs? What level of service do they strive for? You’ll want to make sure these elements align with your own beliefs and expectations.

Be on the lookout for any added features or expertise a new supplier can offer. Only a select few suppliers can do vendor management well. If this is important to you, make sure the supplier you choose is seasoned in this area.

Get to Know the People

Once you have it narrowed down to a few options, go out and kick the tires. Visit each OEM supplier and get to know some of the people there. Get a feel for what kind of relationship you might be able to build, even early on. In order to have a healthy supplier relationship, you’ll need to place a high level of trust in those you are working with.

Being able to peek behind the curtain will also allow you to gauge just how well the supplier will be able to deliver on their promises. For instance, they may have a fancy presentation to wow in the boardroom and still be lacking the expertise and resources to deliver. You need a supplier that is focused on helping you win on the production floor, not just in the office.

Pick a Partner

The right OEM supplier is one that you know can deliver quality parts to the right place, at the right time, all the time. At Endries, we have a tried and true process that allows us to deliver on this. Our focus is on both products and people. While quality products are vital, it’s even more important to us that we build the right relationships. Our account managers will feel like an extension of your procurement team, which is how it should be. Ultimately, people do business with people — not businesses. So, give us a chance to learn about your unique business needs and spend some time learning about us. It will be time well invested.

Want to know more about what Endries has to offer? Let’s talk!