It’s been a busy six months since I started with Wolfgang and the majority of my work has been internal, fine tuning branding and putting our best foot forward in external communications. That said, I’ve needed to research and compare a number of external suppliers to complete various marketing tactics. Most recently I’ve compared video software, tee shirt suppliers, promotional material printers and signage companies. Speaking to signage companies I knew I wanted someone local (we support local whenever possible) and someone who would make the entire process simple ensuring quality colour print and quality material.
I tried out four different suppliers and here are my three rules of thumb:
Attempt to Stick With Three Quotes
I really tried to stick with three quotes but the third supplier fell short. He didn’t respond to my request for a quote until a week later and after I requested an amendment he promised he’d be back to me within a day… and replied another week later. It goes without saying if communicating is such a great challenge, the supplier will likely be tough to work with. Your deadlines likely won’t be met and the whole situation equates to elevated stress.
Compare Apples to Apples
I need A-frame and lawn signs. I need Coroplast (an upscale corrugated plastic type) and I need single sided prints. Ensure that you are comparing apples to apples when receiving quotes.
In the end, I went with the supplier who after responding to my initial request for a quote called to ensure that I had received it. The extra touch of calling me to ensure I had what I needed went the extra mile for me; cost wasn’t the variable to make the decision. Throughout the process the supplier was communicative and offered expertise; I enjoyed the entire design and print process. I also went the distance to contact the other three suppliers to share with them that we had decided on another supplier; best practice is showing respect for other people’s time.
What process do you follow when hiring an outside supplier? How do you choose?