In a digital world, we are increasingly doing all our business online. If you are in charge of ordering supplies in a warehouse, factory or any other materials handling business, you may be ordering the old fashioned way and wasting precious time or may be doing your online ordering the wrong way. The right way to order industrial supplies is a combination of both.
Before the advent of ecommerce, industrial facilities forged relationships with reps, who came to their place of business periodically to fill orders, introduce new products and recommend new products. This is still common practice, but in a world where time is money, businesses are now forging links with industrial supplies websites rather than company representatives. This has both positive and negative consequences.
On the plus side, ordering industrial supplies online is fast and easy. You simply go to a website, browse for the products you need and place your order. If you’ve found a good supplier, the products will be delivered when promised and arrive in good condition. If you have found a very good online supplier, they will have an enormous inventory of materials handling equipment and supplies, allowing you to deal with only one supplier rather than having separate accounts for different categories of goods.
On the negative side, these online industrial supplies companies can be impersonal. When you try to contact them directly, you often find yourself talking to or exchanging emails with an unqualified third party – often in a different country. If you place a large order for a variety of products, something might be missing and the only explanation given will be that it’s on back order and will be delivered in two weeks. You angrily ask why you weren’t informed about that at the time you placed your order and they don’t have a reasonable answer to your question.
Sometimes you simply can’t wait until a back order arrives. You need to be informed immediately so you can make other arrangements. This is one big reason why many businesses revert to dealing directly with local representatives rather than ordering online. They have had a bad experience and assume that all industrial supplies websites are alike.
They are not all alike. The best online industrial supplies companies have a long history of doing business “the old fashioned way” and understand your needs and expectations. They set up their online presence in such a way that you have full control over the ordering process. They offer direct access to their in-house representatives and even encourage you to contact them directly before you place an order. If an item is not in stock, they will let you know in advance so you can make other arrangements or contact them directly and have them source it for you immediately.