Suppliers are an essential part of any large engineering project. They’re needed to complete specialized designs and builds that meet the quality standards of the companies that hire them. Yet, not all suppliers are capable of delivering on their promises. This costs engineering firms time and money.
Overcoming bias when it comes to selecting a supplier can be a major hurdle. Especially, when existing relationships are already in place. So, it’s essential to know how to separate a preferred supplier from a strategic supplier before you partner with them. Here are five crucial traits of a reliable, strategic supplier.
1. Capable Engineers
Hiring engineers that have expertise in fields ranging from electrical and mechanical to industrial design comes from a strong company history of success. Retaining these same engineers comes from a strong company culture. Finding suppliers that are consistently regarded as the top workplace in their industry will have some of the best engineers working for them. Ultimately, placing trust in a supplier is placing trust in their engineers.
2. Manufacturing Capabilities
Any supplier without sufficient manufacturing capabilities will only extend project timelines. Large engineering and construction projects run on tight deadlines. So, why do business with a supplier that isn’t capable of managing large workloads? On-time delivery is vital. Anything less shouldn’t be tolerated. Suppliers that have skilled labor working multiple shifts manufacturing high-quality equipment will benefit both the engineering firm and the client.
3. Quality Assurance
It comes down to accountability. Clients hold the engineering firm accountable for all aspects of the project, including the work done by their suppliers. Suppliers that have a quality program in place to ensure the engineering firm’s standard level of quality is met are more credible. Annual system audits, surveillance audits, and inspection reports should be made readily available by the supplier.
4. Health & Safety
Workplace safety ties into manufacturing capabilities. Partnering with a supplier that doesn’t provide their employees a safe workplace will reflect poorly on any engineering firm. Identifying suppliers with comprehensive safety policies and low incident rates is essential. Suppliers that lack safety equipment is a serious red flag.
5. Defined Work Practices
Suppliers need defined manufacturing work practices in place. Engineering firms can’t rely on verbal promises. Some basic expectations include a document management system, risk management plans, regular supplier scorecard reviews, and again, on-time delivery. Regular testing and inspection of products and effective shipping practices are also necessary.
The Sentry brand leads the industry in industrial sampling systems and products. Trusted for our sampling expertise for over 90 years, the Sentry brand embodies these five traits and more. Frequently the go-to strategic supplier of top engineering firms for power generation, oil and gas refineries, chemical or petrochemical, cement, food or other large processing plant projects.
Learn more about our sampling strategic supplier expertise in The Beginner’s Guide to Representative Sampling. Download your free copy now by clicking the button below.