5 Best Practices to Evaluate Steel Suppliers
The steel industry – both in the U.S. and the rest of the world – has been in the spotlight again. President Donald Trump recently instituted a 25 percent tariff on steel imports, primarily from China, one of the world’s largest exporters of the commodity.
For steel-consuming businesses, this is creating quite the challenge because costs will inevitably spike, potentially slashing revenues or reducing employment levels.
This is also prompting steel-consuming entities to start looking for new suppliers to get a better price. It can be extremely difficult to do, especially if you’ve been frequenting the same supplier for several years.
So, how exactly can you find a new steel supplier that will suit your company’s needs?
Here are five tips for selecting the best steel supplier for your company:
1. Compare Prices Like You Normally Do
As mentioned before, steel has quickly become a major issue in international trade.
Because of the U.S. government’s recent tariffs on steel imports, many economists fear that the domestic price of the commodity could spike, leaving those who need to consume steel left footing the bill.
In order to ensure that you’re not breaking the bank to obtain steel supplies, you need to perform good old-fashioned price comparison. Akin to what you would normally do as a consumer, whether it’s groceries or dental care, you always want to search for a good deal. It is no different when you’re in the market to buy steel supplies.
2. Does the Supplier Have a Strong Reputation?
Thanks to the global supply glut, the number of steel supplies has gone through the roof in North America, Europe, and Asia. Though there are many reputable steel suppliers, there are still plenty of unscrupulous providers. This is what you need to be on the lookout for.
Once you embark upon your search for a steel supplier you can trust and depend on, you need to determine if they have a strong reputation. This can be achieved by reading customer reviews, perusing online testimonials, checking star ratings, and even asking for referrals.
You don’t want any fly-by-night operations. You want the best of the best.
3. Supplier Ensures Fast & Cheap Delivery
The steel market is highly competitive. Like other sectors of the economy, businesses are always vying for your loonies and toonies. They attract customers by employing successful measures, like discounts and quick shipping.
Although it is nice to receive a discount, you should really hone in on delivery features. Everything from fast delivery to free shipping (or at least affordable pricing), you need to see what you can get in terms of delivery that is right for your pocketbook.
4. Review the Company’s History
This does tie into the previous point of reputation…
One way to make sure that you are dealing with a worthwhile steel supplier is to review the company’s corporate history. Here is what you can look for:
- How long they have been in business.
- Who is on their team.
- What accreditation or certification they have.
- If they have appeared anywhere in the media.
You would typically do this for any other private enterprise. So do it for the steel supplier.
5. Yes, Customer Service is Still Key
Let’s face it: you may have found a steel supplier that offers competitive pricing, attract delivery options, and impressive supplies, but if they lack superb customer service then perhaps it isn’t worth your time.
The market is learning that the younger generation of consumers are preferring customer service over anything else. You should too.
For instance, let’s say you’re missing an important component or an order of steel is dented. You want this remedied right away. Will this occur with tremendous customer support or a lackluster one? It is likely the former more than the latter. Keep an eye on customer service.
Who knew that steel would become such a contentious issue? Well, it is and if you rely on steel for your own business or personal needs then you need to begin paying attention to what’s going on. This is especially important if your supplier imports steel from China or elsewhere from around the world.
As you try to nab a sublime supplier of steel, use these tips to get a worthwhile firm.