(This week I thought we’d revisit some posts that have appeared on this blog over the past year. I know we get new readers often, so I thought I’d point out some posts I thought shouldn’t be missed. This post about finding a supplier first appeared in March of 2008.)
As I’ve noted before, your choice of supplier can have a major effect on the success or failure of your business. Given that the choice of a supplier can be so important, it is certainly a choice that should be made with care. The problem is that there are a large number of machine embroidery supply companies out there. Do a Google search for “machine embroidery supplies” and you come up with 211,000 results. How do you know, among all those possibilities, which one is the right one for you?
One way to find a supplier would be to ask friends or acquaintances in the same business what supplier they use. Often the best way to find out how well a supplier performs is to talk to those people who do business with that supplier. That is one of the reasons why so many businesses run testimonials on their web sites. These companies want to let potential customers know that they are already successfully serving the market.
Another method of researching potential suppliers is to visit forums like T-shirt forums.com. There are a wide variety of embroidery and machine embroidery forums available on the Internet, although some are much more active than others. If you do choose to take this path, please keep in mind that every answer you get may not be an informed one. Forums can be very helpful places, but there are also people who will post information based on hearsay or gossip. If someone does have a definitive opinion, positive or negative, about a particular supplier, probe a little more to see if you can find out how that opinion was formed.
Search engines may be a way that some people use to find a supplier. You could simply type in your search term, say “machine embroidery thread” for example, and elect to buy from the company that appears at the top of the list. Keep in mind, the top company may not be the best company, as sites are ranked according to complex search algorithims, not according to quality of merchandise or customer service expertise.
Some embroiderers may elect to choose a supplier based on that suppliers ability to provide a particular item. Say, for instance, you were interested in purchasing Iris Thread. There are very few suppliers in the United States who can supply Iris machine embroidery thread so, if you wanted that thread, you’d have to make a purchase from the companies that offer it, like EnMart.
In the end, the choice of a supplier is a very personal one. It is about more than simply finding the cheapest price. It should also be about quality of merchandise, expertise and responsiveness of support staff, and a commitment to excellence. At EnMart, I believe we have all those things. If you’d like to see for yourself, place an order and give us a chance to prove it to you.