10 Questions to Ask Your Potential Sourcing Partner
Whether you are a garment wholesaler, retailer, trader,raw material supplier or textile manufacturer, planning your store’s merchandise and finding the right sourcing partner can be a challenge. You can always go to events, trade shows, and look for them on the internet or through contacts, but to find a partner that caters to your business in terms of sustainable solutions, an easy, fast, and transparent process can be difficult.
To make it easier for you to shortlist and make your final choice, we have listed a few questions you should ask your potential sourcing partner.
Top Questions to Ask Your Potential Sourcing Partner Before Working with Them
1. Do they consider themselves a wholesaler, a manufacturer, or a wholesaler/manufacturer entity?
Before you get into business, make sure you find out the offerings and services of the company. Inquire up front as to whether they are a wholesaler, a manufacturer, or a management company that looks after client relationships with various clothing manufacturers and distributors.
2. Are you accepting new orders?
Always ask your potential sourcing partner if they have the bandwidth to take on new customers to ensure they fulfil your orders on time. If they are unavailable at a given time, you can check with other prospects or check with them for future partnerships.
3. Can they customize and offer products according to your needs?
It is important to know if the sourcing partner can provide you with the inventory your business needs, like wholesale fabrics, apparel, natural textiles, etc., that can be tailored to your requirements. Getting these insights will help you understand if they are the right fit for your business.
4. Do they have a minimum or maximum order quantity criterion?
Usually, sourcing partners have a minimum order quantity option, and if you are a small to medium-sized business, then these criteria play an important role. Also, initially, while placing orders, you may have small orders, and it is good to know the partners' criteria.
While checking for minimum order quantity, also check for maximum order capacity so that if your needs increase in the future, your sourcing partner will be able to fulfill your requirements.
5. What are their payment terms and conditions?
It's crucial to know if your partner has a preference in terms of payment. For example, do they want the payment in instalments or want the entire payment upfront? It's good to know the terms of their payment as well as the mode of payment available.
6. What is the actual time frame for your order request?
There are three timelines for every business: a best-case scenario timeline, a realistic timeline, and an ideal timeline. In order to effectively plan your merchandise for the year, make sure you receive a realistic estimation of the turnaround time from your sourcing partner.
7. What certifications do they have?
Certifications are proof that a prospective sourcing partner is reputable in the industry. This could be a sign that you are collaborating with a trustworthy business partner.
8. Ensure you get a price quote or an estimate.
Make sure to ask for a cost estimate with price breakdowns of the products you are interested in. This will help you figure out if you will be able to afford their services or whether you need to keep your options open.
9. Do they understand your language?
One of the factors that matter while choosing a sourcing partner in woven fabrics or raw materials category is whether they understand your language. Knowing a common language would still be helpful. But not being able to communicate can become a challenge and make conducting business difficult.
10. How do they maintain quality?
Don't forget to check with them regarding their quality control procedures so that you can be assured of the quality and ensure that it doesn't slip.
So, these are some of the questions you should ask your potential sourcing partner. An important point to remember is that you should always keep a record of your interactions through email to avoid miscommunication. Your potential sourcing partner is around the corner, and we hope these questions help you find the right one.
Are you looking for a reliable sourcing partner? Contact us right away!
Establishing the right merchandise that is sustainable and tailored to your business is essential, and we at ReshaMandi understand the importance of having a reliable farm-to-retail digital ecosystem for the natural fibre supply chain.
You can explore, shortlist, and submit enquiries on a wide range of customisable natural-fibres products ranging in categories like home & living, lifestyle, accessories, apparel, and fabrics to cater to your needs.