Key criteria for better B2B supplier search

Search for B2B suppliers of products and services is an integral part of any company's routine operations and should, if not must, be an ongoing process.

Search for B2B suppliers of products and services is an integral part of any company’s routine operations and should, if not must, be an ongoing process.

According to Fictiv, in 2023 52% of engineers spent 6 or more hours on supply chain-related work per week, including sourcing vendors, providing and requesting quotes. This is a staggering 73% increase from 2022 to 2023.

Streamlining procurement processes and sourcing new suppliers would:

  • Provide a stable supply of products and services: by constantly searching for new suppliers, companies can ensure that they have a steady supply of products to support their business operations or to be sold to the end customer.
  • Reduce costs: new suppliers that offer better prices or more favorable terms and conditions can help companies decrease their expenses and increase their profits.
  • Improve quality: by working with new suppliers that offer higher quality products, companies can improve their reputation as sellers of higher quality products than their competitors.
  • Reduce risks: By diversifying their supplier database, companies can reduce the risk of supply chain disruptions caused by factors such as natural disasters, political instability or economic downturns.
  • Stay competitive: By working with new suppliers that offer innovative products, companies can remain competitive in their market and attract new customers.
  • Avoid bad faith: by evaluating the stability of their suppliers, companies protect themselves against the loss of a supplier by replacing him at no or minimal cost.

Whether you sell someone else’s products or your own products, you still have to interact with suppliers of raw materials, semi-finished products, ready-to-use products, components, equipment. Finding a reliable partner is the most important task of business, a guarantee of its successful development.

Categories of suppliers

There are two types of suppliers B2B: manufacturers and dealers/distributors. It all depends on the volume of purchases and terms of delivery:

1. Manufacturers

They sell their products at a favorable price, and shipment to the final point (warehouse, store, buyer’s address) is the responsibility of the purchaser. Large enterprises usually deliver their products in large batches, so the purchasing company evidently must have its own warehouse.

2. Dealers/distributors

They always buy goods in bulk from the manufacturer and then sell them in small batches or even piece by piece to small buyers. This is convenient when a dealer imports foreign products into the country. Customers do not run through customs clearance every time, and the goods find their buyers faster. Large distributor companies can afford to sell at the manufacturer’s price, as soon as the latter gives them a good discount for a large volume of purchases.

A financial component should be added to this: how much you are willing to spend on your purchases. If you have a solid budget, it is better to go direct to the manufacturer or a large wholesaler. If you have little start-up capital, a distributor will do.

Ways to find good suppliers

1.  Online catalogs and specialized B2B platforms

There are specialized B2B marketplaces and online directories that list suppliers by industry or product category. For example, is an international business place to find the most reliable and trusted suppliers. B2B suppliers can be found in two ways:

  • Searching your own through Kompass by entering a keyword (product, service, brand name). Your request will generate a list of potential suppliers (e.g. European manufacturers), which you can filter by country/region, product/service, type of activity (production, trade), as well as by export and import. You can send a request to a supplier directly from the company profile.
  • Leveraging Contact+, free service to send a quote. Just fill out the form and specify what products or services you are looking for, and Kompass will matchmake you with the best certified suppliers, sending them your request. You will only have to review their offers and choose the best ones.

2.  Search engines

A query in search engines usually consists of the name of the product. The top of the search engine results is occupied with the advertisers. It makes sense to look through the entire list of results, as many suppliers and manufacturers are often not engaged in web resource promotion and SEO. You may find a suitable partner with just a simple business card site and on page 30 of the search results.

3.  Specialized events

You can search for suppliers at forums, conferences, exhibitions, trade fairs. At such events it is easy to see samples of products, read catalogs and brochures, talk directly with manufacturers and even get an immediate discount. Today, you don’t have to travel across the country to participate in such events – just search for online trade shows. Products can be viewed in photos and video presentations, and you can chat with suppliers or listen to speakers.

4. Chambers of Commerce

To start working with foreign manufacturers, you can contact your local chamber of commerce. You will be matched with suitable suppliers and provided with their contacts. This is usually a paid service.

Choosing the right supplier

When choosing a supplier, you should know exactly what you are going to buy, for what purpose (for internal needs, for further resale), what quality and what price category the products should belong to.

By generating B2B industries lists, you will be able to choose the supplier that best meets your requirements. You will need to evaluate them based on factors such as price, quality, reliability and support.

When choosing a business partner, follow a few basic rules:

  • Don’t be afraid to deal with several suppliers at a time. Choose 3-4 suppliers to diversify your product range and to play it safe in case one of your partners suddenly disappears or stops working.
  • Look for domestic partners first – purchases and shipments will go faster.
  • Do not give all your orders to unverified companies. Ask for samples, pay attention to quality and order large quantities only from reliable partners.

Criteria for a reliable supplier

There are certain criteria that make it easier to choose a reliable supplier:

  • Corporate website with information and price list for all products. The resource, where the product range and prices are constantly updated, indicates that the company is successfully developing.
  • Photo and video content. If the website and specialized B2B business places have good photos and videos, it means that the supplier is confident in the quality of its products.
  • Uninterrupted delivery. Find out how the buyers used to be informed if the supplier is going to discontinue a product or completely change the product line. Make sure that this point was stated in the contract.
  • You can always order a small batch or request samples. We advise you to first study and approve samples, and then buy a large batch. Then if the received products do not correspond to the sample, it can be returned legally.
  • There are certificates and approvals. A reliable supplier makes these and other documents publicly available.
  • Dealing with defective and illiquid products. Another important issue that should be discussed before the start of cooperation – in case of delivery of low-quality products how and in what terms will be their replacement or reimbursement of money from the supplier.
  • Product delivery. Try to find out whether the supplier agrees to organize the shipment of your orders from the warehouse to the transport company, or whether you would develop all the logistics yourself.
  • Terms of payment. Find out if the supplier will accept payment upon shipment or in installments. Find out if you as the buyer will be required to do something, such as make an advance payment.

In conclusion

If you’re searching for products and services to improve your value chain, it’s time to take advantage of digital B2B sourcing tools. The international B2B resource can help you find reliable and trusted suppliers in a few clicks.


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