Think about your current vendor(s) that supply you with Maintenance, Repair and Operations products. Seriously, pause for a minute and think. Their products and services are vital to your business operations.
Do you always have what you need, when you need it? Is your vendor easily accessible? Is your vendor knowledgeable about the products and able to answer your questions?
If you have any issues at all with your vendor(s), you may think it’s just a normal part of doing business. It doesn’t have to be.
Here are 10 things you may hate about your vendor. Even one of these could negatively impact your business operations.
1. My vendor never visits.
So … you have a vendor. At least you think you do. But you haven’t seen this person in eons, so they might be a myth. Meanwhile, your supplies are dwindling.
2. My vendor is hard to reach.
Maybe your vendor visits, maybe not. At some point, you need to reach them to place an order or get an issue resolved. But you keep getting voicemail, and your call is never returned. You keep emailing, but you have no idea if your emails are ever read.
3. My vendor orders product I don’t need.
Maybe your vendor comes in, checks your inventory, and then a box (or several) arrives later with product. Wait! What’s all this stuff you don’t need? You don’t use that cap screw size! You don’t need these fuses! Now you need to return them and get your money back.
4. My vendor does not keep me stocked with the products I need.
So, you’re almost out of body clips and fasteners, 1/4” bolts and hitch pin clips. What is that about? Now you’re trying to track your vendor down, or you’re ordering online. Either way, you now must worry about it, and it’s costing you time.
5. My vendor is always out of stock on certain items.
It’s annoying when you can’t get everything you need from your vendor. So, do you add another vendor to supply those items, or do you just run out to the hardware store? Either way, it takes up even more of your already limited time.
6. I have to put away all the products I order from my vendor … if I find the time.
Boxes arrived from your vendor. And they’re just sitting there. And sitting there. Your vendor hasn’t come by to put the product away. You’ll just have to do it when you have a few minutes of spare time.
Several weeks later, the boxes are still there, coated in dust.
7. The products all come from overseas.
Where do your MRO supplies come from? We don’t mean which vendor … we mean the actual place of origin. Are these products American-made? If not, can they be traced back to the manufacturer if something goes wrong?
If your vendor sells American-made products, you are getting a guarantee of quality. Otherwise, you risk receiving counterfeit, substandard, mismarked or misrepresented products with zero traceability.
8. The shipping takes too long.
You needed these parts yesterday, but you’re still waiting. Meanwhile, you must run out to the store to get what you need so you have supplies until the shipment arrives.
9. My bins are mislabeled or not labeled.
Your vendor has been visiting regularly, and you’ve been getting your supplies. But one day, you reach into a bin labeled 5/8” hex head cap screws and instead pull out 7/8” hex head cap screws. Maybe it’s just a mistake? But you look and the entire bin is not organized consistently with its labeling. Now you need to spend extra time looking for what you need or relabeling the bin.
Or, even worse, your bins don’t have labels at all, and it’s a guessing game.
10. My vendor doesn’t have the right knowledge.
You have questions. Your vendor doesn’t have answers. Your vendor never seems to have answers, in fact. Your vendor just takes orders but is not a problem-solver. Do you know if you have the right fittings to go with your hydraulic hose? Can your vendor tell you?
If any of these are true for you, are you really getting value for your money? A good MRO vendor will take over your inventory management, so you never need to worry about any of these issues. You need a knowledgeable vendor who cares about your business and works as your partner.
Kimball Midwest is committed to providing a superior vendor-managed inventory experience, ensuring you have the only the products you need, when you need them. We have over 51,000 products in our inventory – 80 percent of our inventory spend goes to products that are American-made – and can source and order an additional 500,000+ products. Most of the time, you’ll receive your order the next day.