Have too many vendors? Sometimes having one is the right call. In today's world, that might be even more important than ever to keep your employees and their families safe.
But when it comes to the right person to supply your parts, we impart an old adage about starting quarterbacks: If you have two starting quarterbacks, you don’t have one.
If you’ve watched the game enough, you understand what that means. If you haven’t, we’ll explain.
What it means is that if you have two guys who a coach thinks can lead the team, that means neither one has separated himself from the other as the true leader. The quarterback is the natural leader of the team, after all. Sure, both might have all the throws in the book. Maybe they can both run around and pick up first downs with their legs. And maybe they both have guys on the team who trust them.
But it also means there is no consensus. There is no one person who, when the chips are down, you can look to and say, “he’s the go-to.”
We think it is the same with vendors at certain shops. When several vendors have drawers, bins or cabinets throughout the shop, it means one vendor hasn’t distinguished itself as the leader.
While some like to pound their price book as the low-cost leader, at Kimball Midwest, we focus on something else entirely.
We focus on customer service and quality products. We focus on value, on time saved and costs recovered by keeping you on the job and not hunting for items in an overstocked parts room.
According to Dawson Consulting, in an article published in October 2018, a single-supplier strategy can be helpful in several areas:
- Building and maintaining a relationship with one supplier is easier than with two or more.
- Placing orders with just one supplier reduces your administrative and other costs.
- Maximizing volume leverage helps you attain attractive pricing.
- Streamlining and integrating systems with a single supplier is easier.
- Achieving inventory control is easier, too.
Of course, your business is not like all the others, and you aren’t interested in one-size-fits-all thinking. Besides, how can a body shop with 50 locations be the same as Tom’s Body Shop right around the corner with 10 total employees?
But really, when you find the right supplier, things get easier. They come in, fill your supply, make sure you aren’t experiencing downtime and are simply part of your day-to-day operation.
If you are looking for “the one,” you don’t want a salesperson. You want a partner.