Making Buying Decisions for Tools, Hardware and MRO
Small businesses and corporate purchasers alike are faced with the challenges that come with finding the best value sources for their company's supply needs.
Source options for tools, hardware and MRO include big box stores, specialty hardware vendors, chain suppliers, general merchandise and warehouse stores, and Internet retailers.
Business purchasers are quite different from those who are buying for personal needs. They are more selective, convenience driven, value sensitive and usually buy multiples and are repeat buyers. Often business buyers are just that, professional buyers, who utilized selective criteria to evaluate products, sources and their value for the price. Ease of ordering and speed of delivery are also significant considerations.
For these reasons online retailers are usually the best value solution for business buyers. On line retailers offer features to buyers that cannot be matched by other retail merchants.
- 24/7 availability
- multiple regional distribution centers
- lower overhead than brick and mortar stores
- product comparisons at your fingertips
- searchable order history for quick reorders
- bulk purchase cost savings
- consolidated order delivery direct to your office or plant
- automatic reorder programs
When selecting an on line supply source there are seven important considerations:
- Name Brand merchandise
- Efficient EDI capability
- Real time order tracking
- Multiple shipping options
- Exceptional customer service
- Warranty and claims handling
- Easy return processing
These seven characteristics can be evaluated by professional buyers along with price and delivery schedule to make the best acquisition decision.
The best on line retailers offer some customer appreciation benefits like tiered discount programs for their customers, who purchase the most; and free parcel shipping programs for loyal customers.
When you think about your purchasing needs you should consider finding an online supply source.