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How do I find suppliers in line with my business goals?

Anyone in a company who is in charge of purchasing has to answer this question several times in the course of their career.

Managing the supply chain correctly entails a continuous review of existing processes in order to improve them to meet the company’s production needs and growth objectives.

In this article, we will provide hints and tips on how to find new suppliers in line with your needs.

But first, let’s look at the principles that define an effective procurement strategy and why today’s procurement department can play an important part in the company’s development.

The procurement department: a strategic role

The conception of the procurement department has changed in recent years.

Traditionally, this department has always been seen as a cost centre; in other words, an area only able to affect the passive items in the budget.

Today, there is a paradigm shift: the procurement department takes an active role in the growth of the company.

But in what way?

  • Being proactive, i.e. by devising strategies to anticipate problems.
  • Paying attention to key issues when choosing suppliers, such as environmental and social sustainability.
  • Making decisions based on reliable data.
  • Constantly monitoring the results obtained.

The four principles we have outlined distinguish a good procurement department and are the basis of a long-term strategy.

Let’s see how with an example.

The staff of a purchasing department can contribute to the improvement of a company’s reputation by driving its innovation process.

How? By selecting suppliers that meet the sustainability requirements that consumers are paying more and more attention to today.

In this way, it is possible to optimise product quality, reaching new groups of buyers and strengthening a company’s competitive advantage.

What are the tools with which to achieve these goals?

Find new foreign suppliers thanks to an effective procurement strategy

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Come trovare fornitori export in linea con i miei obiettivi di business?

Searching for suppliers: trade fairs and databases

The search for suppliers constitutes the heart of procurement activity.

To manage it, companies usually employ two tools:

  • Visits to trade fairs where they can find new partners.
  • The purchase of databases with local or national coverage, containing company data (company name, location, website, industry sector, etc.).

Let us look at the features of each of the two approaches.

Trade fairs periodically bring together companies from one or more industries; by participating as visitors to find new suppliers, managers and entrepreneurs have no guarantee to find companies in line with their goals.

Time is another limitation: the duration of these events – and busy agendas – often prevent one from meeting all the exhibitors.

In contrast, digital databases, usually sold by advisory companies, can be consulted at any time.

Moreover, thanks to regional or national coverage, they contain the name of companies in one or more industries within a country.

However, they are organised on the basis of rigid parameters (e.g., the companies turnover), and the specific characteristics of these have to be verified manually by visiting their websites.

Matchplat per trovare nuovi fornitori export in modo veloce e preciso

Searching for suppliers: how AI can help you

Explore is the platform developed by Matchplat to find suppliers, quickly and all over the world.

Explore employs Artificial Intelligence algorithms to analyse the online contents of ofver 400 milion companies, identifying only the ones consistent with your goals.

Imagine you are working in a  company specialising in furniture and looking for new producers of sustainable wood.

With Explore, it is possible to find companies that offer FSC-certified wood – one of the most well-known standards in this field – within the target country in just a few minutes.

In this way, the work of the procurement department becomes more efficient, thanks to up-to-date information from official databases and web pages.

Moreover, Explore enables the identification of alternative suppliers, anticipating potential issues.

Explore allows every company to set up a ‘plan B’ to cope with production delays of its partners or disruptions along the supply chain: a great help in today’s fast-changing market.