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How many suppliers do you use?

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Post Sat Jan 05, 2013 11:06 pm

How many suppliers do you use?

I mean for things like substrate boards, vinyl, application tape etc. I'm new to all this and the amount of different suppliers is quite mind boggling. I think i could end up going back and forth for days between them all comparing prices etc.
How many different suppliers do you all use for your main purchases or do you prefer sticking to just one?
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Post Sat Jan 05, 2013 11:59 pm

It's not always possible to stick with just one Ewan, reason for that maybe as simple as them not stocking all the brands that you prefer to use. Comparing prices is ok but I tend not to buy on price alone, what I mean by that is that I like a certain brand of vinyl & wouldn't swap to another brand to save a few bob, same with application tape both paper & clear.
Probably not a good idea to put all your eggs in one basket either, having a couple of suppliers for me is a good idea but I also wouldn't go mad & have loads lol
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Post Sun Jan 06, 2013 12:29 am

Not really basing my decisions on price as i certainly do not want to stock "cheap" products. I think i'm just confusing myself with all the different suppliers and brands. I'm pretty much set on substrate material but they dont offer a huge range in vinyl so thats what i'm on to now. Trying to make a basic price list that i can work from.

The vinyl stock i bought is mostly Andersons but i can't seem to find much about it. Is it an older make maybe?
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Post Sun Jan 06, 2013 12:39 am

we use two suppliers for most things,we compare prices between the two to get best value,other companys send us weekly offers and some times we buy those but would have to have a track record with the product not just buy it on price.price is important but dealing with companys that offer good service is a must.
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Post Sun Jan 06, 2013 12:51 am

Totally agree regarding service. In my other business that means much more than price.

As a side note am i allowed to ask opinions on various suppliers on the forum. I know other forums i go on for different things don't allow it.
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Post Sun Jan 06, 2013 11:02 am

I use only a few suppliers.
I haven't time to go back and forth quibbling over pennies. I also believe you need to build up a relationship with your suppliers the same way you would hope your customers build a loyal relationship with you.
Over time though you should, as I've done through being loyal, get better prices on materials.
Service, stocks and delivery is also important. I'd say 99/100 we can guarantee when our delivery guy will be with us. Very, very rarely do our suppliers not have what we want and we get great service with regard to updates, new products, offers and advice.
I won't name names as each to there own but I like to think we have very good relations with the suppliers we use.


Anderson's used to sell Mactac but it would say on the rear of the liner.
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Post Sun Jan 06, 2013 3:28 pm

I use several.

I buy plotter vinyl from 1 supplier because they're local and sell a brand I like using. This saves me delivery, I don't carry stock, and their prices are good.

Digiti vinyl from another supplier because I like their material, their service and I have a relationship with my rep.

Substrate from another, again local, prices are ok, but they can supply same day, never had a damaged order unlike the other supplier. I did by paper from them, but can source this directly from the manufacturer for £15 less and are also local.

I've found a new banner supplier who I am yet to use, simply on price for the cheaper end of the mArket. I use the same supplier as my digi vinyl for premium banner.

There are savings to be had, without loosing quality.
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Post Sun Jan 06, 2013 9:54 pm

I tend to use 3 main suppliers but I also use a few others for less common items.
You'll find you can't just use one supplier, it just doesn't work. They'll be out of stock or don't stock an item and you'll get to like a make of material and that supllier will not stock other items you need.

Steve
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Post Sun Jan 06, 2013 10:09 pm

I've managed to narrow it down to 4 suppliers that I will start with. I'm sure others will come and go and swap with the first 4 but it gives me a starting point
Thanks
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Post Mon Jan 07, 2013 9:36 am

I tend to use just a few prefered suppliers, I try to be loyal until change of product/Service/Stock availabilty forces me to change. IE Target Transfers no longer do the excellent Premium garment film - changing (to my opinion) a much lesser product so I'll change supplier otherwise I would stay with them.
Alan D
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Post Sun Feb 09, 2014 5:55 pm

I have been using MDP supplies over the years but I have started to lose my tether with them now. I am currently looking at using William smith but please could you comment with all your suppliers.

Many Thanks
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Post Sun Feb 09, 2014 7:58 pm

Alan, sorry to go off track here, but i agree with you about target transfers. The closest i have found to their old material is the RF garment film supplied by ralawise. I highly recommend it.

Liam

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