Question Lily Business & Management

Six sources of information when looking for suppliers

Highlight 6 sources of information a buyer is exposed to when looking for suppliers

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Answer Internal Staff

Six of the key sources of information in finding suppliers are discussed below:

Directories and search engines:

Online directories and internet search engine listings are growing in importance. The internet allows access to the widest range of suppliers, but it can be difficult to filter through the many results.

Trade/Industry Magazines:

Magazines and journals are a traditional method to identify suppliers. They benefit from being based around a particular industry or trade, so contain highly relevant information. A limitation is that not all companies may advertise in a magazine. These publications tend to favour established and market leading suppliers, as these can afford the biggest and best advertising slots.

Advertisements and Promotions:

General adverts and promotions include methods such as billboards, website adverts, email campaigns, and so forth. These are not very effective for seeking out suppliers for specific or niche goods, but can raise awareness of the supplier over the long term.

Procurement Portals:

Many large companies use online procurement portals to advertise their requirements and let suppliers come to them. They can then gather information from supplier bids and make comparisons. This is highly effective when used for large projects or when the company is large and attracts a lot of supplier interest.

Industry Events:

Industry fairs and trade shows are a traditional and still a highly popular way for suppliers to advertise their services. This may be through gaining a stall or presentation slot at the event, or through simple attendance and networking. A wide array of leading suppliers can usually be found at large events.

Personal knowledge and recommendations:

This source is very important. A colleague or acquaintance may have dealt with the company in the past, or even worked for them, or they may simply be aware of the supplier’s services. A personal recommendation is one the most influential factors in selecting a supplier, but care must be taken to ensure that the recommendations are accurate.