No matter what commercial project you’re working on – choosing the correct supplier is essential. Making an informed choice will ensure things run smoothly, deadlines are met, and budgets are adhered to.
Choosing the wrong supplier will be detrimental to the progress and completion of a project. It’ll slow things down, the quality will be lacklustre, and you’ll be compromising on the results you can achieve – upsetting and you may end up turning away clients in the long run.
Even if suppliers and manufacturers put in a tender and pitch for a job, it’s vital to be aware of the credentials you should be looking for. In this quick and handy guide, we’ve listed some of the considerations you need to make to help you identify any red flags and find the perfect aluminium bi-fold door supplier for your project.
We’ll explore the following considerations:
- Research Expertise and Experience
- Investigate Product Specifications and Quality
- Ask About Trade Prices
- Understand The Customer Service and Communication Process
- Consider Location
- Check Lead Times
- Visit Showrooms
Research Expertise and Experience
When searching for an aluminium bi-fold door supplier, you should be researching their expertise and experience.
Don’t be afraid to ask suppliers about their previous clients or ask to speak to previous businesses or architects who have worked with them. This is a great way to get an honest account of what the partnership was really like. References make all the difference when it comes to choosing a supplier.
Also, don’t forget to look at their supplier’s thought leadership presence online. Consider looking at social media, website content, PR and industry reviews. It all contributes to a brand image. You could even explore their previous case studies for more insight too.
The chosen supplier you opt for will reflect on the services you provide. If you choose an inconsistent supplier who lacks expertise, knowledge and experience, this will reflect negatively on you – not the supplier.
Investigate Product Specifications and Quality
Quality is a priority, and it’s likely to be at the top of your list when advising and selling to clients. So, your supplier needs to be able to meet your expectations.
Remember, you don’t always get what you pay for. The price of something does not determine the quality. You need to ensure there’s a pre-agreed level of quality that you can rely on to ensure you can delight clients and provide great results.
The last thing you want and should be doing is marketing your products and specifications as high-end solutions when your supplier provides you with something different and low-quality.
Quality refers to the physical product, the service you receive, the product specifications and more. Before signing any contracts, ensure you’re aware of all the offerings your supplier provides.
As an example, ask questions such as – are the products packaged adequately during transit? Can there be customisations made? What is the manufacturing process? And are items labelled accurately? As well as many more.
Ask About Trade Prices
This is probably the most obvious point out of all those listed here. However, it’s just as important as the rest. When choosing suppliers, you need to consider the cost. Cheap suppliers aren’t always the best value for money, and they may cause drawbacks further down the line with your project.
It’s essential to strike a balance between cost, reliability, quality and service. It’s important to shop around and see which supplier can offer you the perfect deal for what you need. Some suppliers may offer exclusive discounts, and you may also receive a lower price for bulk buying items of high quality.
Consider all the options you have, do your research and weigh up the pros and cons of each to avoid being disappointed.
Understand The Customer Service and Communication Process
Communication is key. Between you and your clients, and between you and your supplier. Your clients will likely want to know project updates, and they will pester you until you provide further information. Having a reliable supplier will ensure you can meet client expectations with timely updates, whilst also streamlining the rest of your project.
Your supplier should communicate honestly, and regularly, and give updates on delivery, customisations, feedback, and briefing. If a delivery is going to be late, you need plenty of warning, and if things are arriving on time, you can inform clients either way.
Communication and excellent customer service between you and your supplier are important for a good working relationship. It will also set the tone for the relationships you have with your own clients.
Do you operate with local suppliers? Have you built your clientele upon the expertise in your area?
Well, location is a big factor to consider too. Choosing a local supplier does have its advantages. Communication can be easier, deadlines are more likely to be met, product shipments won’t be delayed, lead times will be shorter, and they’ll be clued up on business rules and regulations.
If you can source local suppliers, it’s a no-brainer. You don’t want your supplier to complicate your project and create any additional costs. You need the process to be streamlined, professional, and reliable.
Check Lead Times
Settling realistic and reliable expectations is important – not only to aid the rest of your project but to inform your clients too. Flexible suppliers who work efficiently and quickly will ensure you can respond swiftly to clients and provide great results.
In some cases, you may need to meet changing customer demands and suggest edits and amends. Having a supplier that can aid that journey and still deliver exceptional outcomes is key.
Looking for suppliers that offer quick lead times without compromising on quality is fundamental. This will ensure you deliver excellent results, meet project deadlines, serve your clients efficiently and get value for money.
If you don’t check lead time expectations, you’ll delay your project, provide poor customer service and limit your offerings for future developments.
The best way to gauge an understanding of your supplier is by attending their showrooms. You’ll be able to submerge yourself in their products, ask all the questions you have, and see samples in person. No waiting around for samples to arrive, see them there and then.
At FrameX, we welcome trade and commercial customers to our showroom to browse and ask questions. Based in the heart of Rossendale, Lancashire, come along and see our expert quality products and experience our excellent service.
Get Your Questions Answered and Gain Valuable Industry Insights Here
Choosing a reputable supplier isn’t an easy decision to make. However, we hope with the help of our recommendations, you’ll find the perfect supplier for your project and continue to delight clients.
If you have any questions in the meantime or you’d like to speak to a member of our expert team further – please don’t hesitate to get in touch. We’re aluminium specialists that help builders, architects, and property developers reframe their projects with excellent service, expertise, and exceptional results.
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