If your business is in manufacturing or production, finding high-quality materials in bulk and at reasonable prices is an essential function with your company. Material acquisition can affect your bottom line, shorten or lengthen your lead times and ultimately determine the quality of your products. Here’s what you need to do to find the right quality materials for your business’s needs.
The first step in finding your materials is to know exactly what you need and in what quantities. If possible, try to arrange your list by categories since you may find a niche supplier that can provide more than one of the things you need. If you require three or four different steel products, for example, you may be able to simplify your supply chain by getting all of them fulfilled through a single steel supplier.
If at all possible, you should be prepared to buy your materials in bulk. Buying in bulk allows you to reduce your per-unit costs on materials, thus reducing your total manufacturing costs across your product lines. Before you purchase, though, be sure that you have enough warehouse space and proper inventory systems set up to manage the materials you’re bringing in. Without the right infrastructure, even keeping plenty of material on hand can turn into a logistical headache.
Whenever you buy materials, you need to shop around to get the best price. Make sure you’re getting quotes from multiple suppliers so that you can ultimately get what you need at the lowest price. Also keep in mind that exploring material prices should be an ongoing process. Even if you have a current supplier for something, you should always be on the lookout for better prices that will allow you to bring your production costs down.
In some cases, businesses will get too locked into using a specific material. Innovation is crucial in manufacturing, so don’t be afraid to try out prototypes that use different materials than what you’re currently using. You may find that a new material allows you to improve your product or make it more cost-effective.
Finding the right materials for your business is an important and often complex process. By following these steps and tips, you can simplify your search and ensure you’re always getting the best prices on the right materials.
Lizzie Weakley is a freelance writer from Columbus, Ohio. In her free time, she enjoys the outdoors and walks in the park with her husky, Snowball.