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How To Find Acceptable Online Ebay Vendors: Other Companies' Ideas
Other Articles In This Series
With the never ending issue of trying to find vendors, businesses struggle to find vendors that will accommodate them. As previously discussed during other research projects, a survey is a great way to determine if vendors are acceptable to businesses. Other companies however, have explored different avenues when considering possible vendors.
According to Bob Wright of VARBusiness, price isn't always king when considering VARs, or Value Added Resellers. Wright has indicated that according to four companies questioned, other benefits are helpful. In one instance, a company questioned indicated that one of their partners Symantec, was even forwarding business their way. In another instance, American Power Corporation has a bevy of services and resources available to their resellers. They even go as far as joining in on sales calls, as well as hosting joint trade show displays. In one partnership between IBM and Global Services, both companies freely share leads and promote each others services when applicable. In addition to benefits shared between a provider and reseller or service provider, references and networking skills have proven to be invaluable. Resellers are networking with other resellers to find valuable new services, and products to offer. Obvious advantages present themselves with knowing what the competition is up to (Profitable Partnerships).
In another article by James Morgan, a survey was once again conducted and purchasing professionals were questioned. It should be noted that two separate types of vendors came to light, manufacturers, and distributors. Of course good and bad things were spoke of each, but overall the survey indicated the distributors have improved reseller satisfaction over the past few years. Apparently, this can mostly be attributed to customer service, and answering the needs of resellers. For example, in the past few years, resellers have been crying out for better “etools” and customer service. Distributors have answered this call with multiple programs and options. However, many critics have become cautious over purchasing for distributors due to in some cases, inappropriate order fulfillment times, and low inventory levels. Last but not least, some distributors appear to be raising some prices on items that just simply cannot be passed along to an end user, and profit margins are shrinking.
The results of the aforementioned survey include some interesting information about how purchasing agents are using the Internet. Sixty five point eight percent of agents questioned indicated that they used the Internet to locate new and profitable vendors. Another sixty three point six percent indicated that they use the Internet to actually research vendors (Distributors).
The next article examined wasn't specifically geared towards retail, but instead contractors. According to Jum Olsztynski of Supply House Times, eighty nine percent of all companies surveyed indicated that product availability was a particular reason why they purchased from multiple warehouses or vendors. According to further questions, only seven percent of participants indicated that wholesalers always had their items requested in stock. Surprisingly only sixty four percent of participants indicated that price was a significant factor when deciding to deal with wholesalers versus say home centers such as Lowes or Home Depot (Why Contractors).
Although the survey mentioned in previous projects has a different purpose than those indicated in the articles, some strong correlations can be drawn between them. In all of the articles, data was collected from survey participants regarding their choices when comparing vendors, and feedback and insight was proved as to why business purchase items from wholesalers or distributors. In a way, regardless of whether or not it is an actual written survey or checklist, it appears that many companies are looking at some in depth characteristics when attempting to create relationships with vendors. These articles indicated such critical topics that the previous survey addressed such as order lead times, price, and added benefits such as customer service. It seems that all thee articles drew at least one similar conclusion: price is not always the deciding factor when dealing with vendors.
Without the use of secondary data, many of the figures ans statistics that were included in these article simply would have gone to waste, had not someone actually interpreted them and put them into perspective. All three articles mentioned briefly how they collected their data, however no real specifics were included, such as population or sample size. It is interesting to note that even thought these three articles focused on three very different business models, the conclusions were exactly the same, indicating a general trend, not just an industry specific conclusion.
Morgan, James P. (2000, May) Distributors: How good are they? Purchasing. 128(7), 50- 53
Olsztynski, Jim (2004, July) Why Contractors Buy The Way They Do. Supply House Times. 47(5), 164
Wright, Bob (2004, May). Profitable Partnerships. VARBusiness, 11, 63-64