May 12, 2016
Your company selects supply partners because they are prompt, reliable and provide value to your company. They respond to your requests in a timely manner. They make sure raw materials end up on your loading dock when they’re supposed to be there. And, the price you pay for the raw materials is consistent with the quality needed for your finished goods. If your suppliers are prompt and reliable, you are prompt and reliable. Coupled with compensatory pricing, that’s what keeps your business profitable.
What more could you want from a supplier?
Here are three ways your supplier can help you improve customer service to create a better experience for your customers.
Solving end-use problems
End-use problems come in many forms. They could come in the form of unexpected performance in your coatings system, including color float or rheological changes. They could come in the form of problems with point-of-sale dispenser canisters, including tip drying, colorant thickening and paint colorants spoiling in dispensers. They could come in the form management problems that include meeting environmental or regulatory initiatives. As a colorant supplier, we have run across many end-use problems, and all require different forms of testing and consultation.
Each of your customers presents a unique set of challenges. These challenges often creep up at various phases of production, testing, sale and use of a paint or coatings product. And while you might be able to solve these problems on your own, all businesses can benefit from having suppliers that take customers’ problems as seriously as they take their own and work with you to identify the best possible solutions.
Providing analytical assistance
In an increasingly regulated paint and coatings industry, your suppliers should be well versed in the latest testing protocols and processes for your products. Chose suppliers who are as knowledgeable and proactive as your own chemists, so that if a paint formula isn’t producing the desired results upon testing, they can quickly determine what’s not working, explain why and take the appropriate action.
For example, after recognizing our customers’ tip drying and color thickening issues, Chromaflo Technologies formulated new types of colorants to reduce premature drying and viscosity issues. To address colorant spoilage, our analytical testing process revealed process improvements to implement at the store level.
Do your current suppliers offer to investigate a product performance problem all the way back to the root cause? And is your company confident that its suppliers understand the language of your industry, including all of the relevant testing protocols?
Your supply partners aren’t really consultants, but in a way, they fill the role of a consultant. Your supplier network represents the total base of knowledge and expertise that allows your paint and coatings company to maximize quality and efficiency, condense turnaround times and provide great products and customer service.
If you view your suppliers as purely vendors instead of as strategic production partners, you’re missing a fundamental point of why you have suppliers – and you won’t be empowered to deliver the best products or services within your company’s capabilities.
More than drums and pallets
Behind the drums of colorants and chemicals or the crates of dry materials, your suppliers are businesses with a set of competencies that complement your company’s paint and coatings expertise and its level of customer service. Whenever you purchase materials for your products, remember that you are paying for each supplier’s support, knowledge and expertise as much as you are paying for materials. When you run into problems you can’t solve, ask your suppliers. It isThey are there to support your business and will benefit from your success.
Chromaflo Technologies is a leading supplier of colorant technologies for the paint and coatings industries. Contact us at (440) 997-5137 to discuss your colorant requirements.