Guide to selecting a retail supplier
1. Research the market for appropriate suppliers and invite them to join your selection process. To assist, click on the link at the bottom of the page to research the NZRIA & Red Awards websites, and links to potential suppliers.
Satisfy yourselves that the invited list of retail suppliers, have the following:
- A dedicated Account Manager and a separate Project Manager. - It’s extremely difficult to manage high level outcomes if you are the one who has to deal with the day to day site issues and programme
- A Network of accredited installers. Consistent installation and a quality assurance system through accredited installers will ensure your project is completed to the specified standards.
- Roll-out capabilities-especially for Nation wide projects. Understanding individual store/site priorities is critical.
- Make sure all timelines are discussed and agreed on especially if imported product is required.
- Ensure your supplier has the logistics capability to complete the roll out.
- Ensure a supplier understands and is compliant with any NZ/AUS Standards for specific equipment/fixtures.
- ‘Asset Management System’ – It is important to have access to specification and cost information when you need it, especially when you have multiple suppliers across a number of sites.
- Maintenance and small works management. Ensure your major projects are taken care of, it is equally important for your day-to-day, small works and reactive maintenance requirements are met.
- In-house manufacturing – A great opportunity for innovation can be found at the manufacture stage. If your supplier has control over this you can ensure you are receiving the best value.
- Warranties on all products and work. A focus on the importance of security and confidentiality at their premises. – Commercial advantages can be lost at any stage.
- A great track record, strong brand and position in the market place – Ask for references and speak with their best customers, and their worst.
- Strong credit rating. To ensure business continuity and future work.
- Proven skills at communicating ‘buy in’ from all the people that will be affected by major fit-out projects is important. A supplier that can assist you to obtain the necessary buy-in will ensure compliance right across your network.
- A key focus on long term partnerships and building relationships understanding your specific requirements.
- An ability to ask relevant questions to gain a thorough understanding of your unique business requirements.
2. Undertake an interview process providing a clear scope and understanding of your expectations. Ask them to submit prices plus invite variations to allow for their professional experience. Your goal is to establish their strengths and weaknesses. Do not share the strengths and weaknesses between the other suppliers at the interview, look for and compare individual merit.
3. Visit the Company’s premises / factory to confirm Prototyping and testing will ensure fit-forpurpose. Ask your supplier about their prototyping process and lead times.
4. Request a prototype unit to check for quality and confirm your expectations especially in relation to finishes and functionality.
5. Once you are happy with all aspects of your assessment make sure your final selection is with a supplier who will work with you and your team. Long term relationships go a long way to achieving great value, delivery and service. Regular price checking should be carried out. Ensure you listen to the value explanations as there are always cheaper options available that will not deliver the same outcomes.