Smart consumers know buying in bulk can save you big bucks. For instance, shopping at Sam’s Club can save you 30 percent on average, a CBN News Channel sample found. Home business owners can save big by adopting a similar strategy. For example, Costco Auto Program members can save 15 percent on car parts, while healthcare companies that use volume discount strategies can cut supply chain costs up to 15 percent. In some cases, you may be able to arrange volume discounts as high as 50 percent.
But to enjoy these types of savings, you’ve got to pursue a smart shopping strategy. Without doing your due diligence, you may end up missing out on bigger savings, or you may even waste money paying for volume orders of the wrong part. Here are three tips to help you minimize your costs and maximize your satisfaction when buying custom parts in bulk.
Shop for Competitive Pricing and Service
To get the most out of volume discounts, it’s prudent to compare prices from multiple outlets before settling on a supplier. The easiest way to start comparing prices is to look online. Sites with directories of wholesale suppliers such as 4 Wholesale USA, BAOlink and TopTenWholesale can point you towards numerous sources of volume discounts. The Amazon Business network is another excellent place to compare prices. Some retail chains such as LowesforPros offer bulk discounts for businesses. You should also check with local suppliers for their pricing. If you know who your competitors’ suppliers are, checking their prices can be another effective strategy. Once you’ve identified a few potential suppliers, contact them to request quotes.
When comparing prices, it’s important to consider service quality as well as price. Once clue to the quality of a supplier’s service is how quickly they respond to your initial attempt to contact them for a quote. Another item to evaluate is whether or not they offer guarantees. Reading reviews and interviewing customers can also help you gauge whether a supplier offers good service.
Consider Alternative Materials
It’s also smart to consider different options for materials when ordering custom parts. A knowledgeable supplier may be aware of the latest innovations in your industry and be able to suggest materials that are more suitable for your application or less expensive. For instance, o-ring supplier Apple Rubber sells thousands of different sizes of o-rings made of specialized materials such as Viton, Buna-N and Silicone that have properties making them suitable for specific automotive and medical applications.
When reviewing options for materials, you might also consider whether a less expensive material could save you money on production while still delivering the quality you need for your application. One mistake companies often make is using the most expensive material available for a custom part, when a less expensive part could get the same job done without compromising quality. For instance, if your projected application will only be done at room temperature, you probably don’t need to pay extra for a material designed for extreme heat resistance.
Provide Precise Specs
When ordering in volume, you run the risk of wasting money if you order the wrong part or the wrong size. The best way to prevent this is by measuring precisely and double-checking your measurements before you submit a quote or place an order. For extra precision, use smaller units when measuring. For instance, using 1/1000 of an inch will give you a more precise measure than 1/100 of an inch.
In addition to measuring precisely, it’s also critical to provide accurate specifications to your supplier. If you’re ordering from a catalog, double-check that you’ve requested the correct part number. For custom parts, working with a rapid prototyping service, CAD modeling service or engineer to develop detailed drawings can help ensure that you communicate your needs clearly to your supplier.
Shopping suppliers, comparing materials and providing precise specifications are three keys to successful bulk buying. Following these tips will help ensure that you find the right price for the right parts.
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