Just How Important Are Suppliers in the Supply Chain?

business colleagues

The supply chain includes the supplier, the manufacturer, and the customer. It is made up of different people, activities, processes, and procedures intended to reach one goal: to produce an item worthy of the consumer’s money. But many business managers don’t realize how important the supplier’s role is in this chain. One big failure from the supplier could mean the end of one’s business.

A well-managed supply chain is critical to any business. For example, a thick-walled injection molder should provide critical service to the manufacture. If it fails to do so, it can put a business to the brink of collapse. The supplier of the injection molding machine is therefore responsible for the whole process even though they are not directly manufacturing the products.

Business Side

On the business side, you must find a supplier that can deliver the materials on time and regularly. The supplier must also ensure that the quality of the raw materials they produce for you. Otherwise, the end products will suffer, and your business will receive the impact of your customers’ wrath. A supplier is mainly responsible for ensuring that the raw materials used during the manufacturing process are made with quality in mind.

Customer Side

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Your customers don’t know it, but they are indirectly affected by the supplier in the supply chain. They consume and use these products without knowing how the raw materials were produced and put together. That’s why people against animal abuse need to know how a cosmetic product is made. They base their purchase decision on where the manufacturer sourced its materials.

Consumers are savvier now. They already know where the products are coming from. They research before buying a cosmetic product. They want to make sure that the products are made without animal derivatives, for example. They want to make sure that the suppliers and manufacturers are practicing good labor practices.

Companies whose suppliers do not adhere to ethical practices often feel the downside of partnering with these suppliers. Consumers no longer want to buy their products. And even if they are not aware of how the raw materials are being sourced, they are often the recipients of public backlash.

Reputation and Satisfaction

Your company’s reputation hinges on how good your suppliers are in procuring and producing quality raw materials. Everything begins with quality raw materials. Think of it as baking a cake. You can be the best baker in the world, but if you have access to only low-quality flour and cocoa, you cannot make a chocolate cake as luscious as it should be if you use good-quality raw ingredients.

There is so more to running a business than producing products or services your customers will love. When a supplier is late at delivering the raw materials you need, your whole process will be disrupted. When a supplier is reported to be involved in unethical labor practices, it will affect your supply chain. Some customers will even take you up on something you have no idea has been happening. It pays to choose a reputable, eco-conscious, and ethical supplier.

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