Sometimes the need to change suppliers of linear systems arises when, for various reasons, the existing supplier cannot live up to your set requirements. But the question is, how do you know if a new supplier meets your needs and wishes? It's not easy, but there are a few things to keep in mind when evaluating your options.
What does the supplier's inventory of linear systems look like?
As a purchaser, you naturally want a satisfying price and value for your money. But equally critical is correct deliveries and that you receive them at the promised time. One way to get an idea of how well the supplier can live up to this is to find out how their warehousing works. How many standard products do they have in stock, and where are the warehouse and manufacturing physically located in relation to your business?
A supplier with a smaller warehouse locally and its main warehousing and manufacturing in Asia has an increased risk of suffering from transportation problems. It can, in turn, jeopardise delivery security.
How does the communication with the supplier work?
One way to assess the level of service and the supplier's ability is to see how they communicate. If you receive quick, credible answers to your questions and prompt feedback on a quote request, it indicates that they have good routines and are a customer-oriented organisation. If it takes time or you get answers that suggest they don't have the technical skills and experience internally, it can be a sign that it is a slow moving company, with long distances between the technicians and the customers.
It may also be a good idea to ask about how they work with customers daily. Will you get a dedicated contact person, and will they build an internal team that knows your specific needs?
Another indication of the service level is how knowledgeable and willing they are to help with conversions from another make and providing the requested product samples. When changing suppliers, there is often a need to find equivalent products from another manufacturer, and it is an invaluable help if the new supplier takes on that task.
What capacity and knowledge does the supplier have?
Often, a project starts with building a prototype. During the process, the included components are selected. It is usually in this stage that a new supplier can become relevant. At this point you notice how knowledgeable the supplier is and, perhaps more importantly, how willing they are to share their knowledge with you. It is highly valuable that the supplier develops solutions for you, but equally important that they are willing to design them together with your technicians.
It is a good idea to check the supplier's delivery capacity in advance. Because if it turns out after the tests that the prototype works, you naturally want to go ahead and scale up production with the same components. Then it is not enough that the supplier is good at developing and adapting – they must also have the capacity to deliver in large quantities while maintaining delivery reliability.