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Tue, Jun 25, 2024 10:13
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Management Side

What do you think of suppliers' representatives

Last week we asked:

1. In general, what do you think of suppliers' representatives?

23.1% Mostly very good

46.2% Mostly good

15.4% Neutral

07.7% Mostly bad

00.0% Mostly very bad

07.7% Not answered

>There is a HUGE range between best and worst.

>As times have tightened, suppliers seem to realize that having a rep that actually knows how to apply what he/she is pushing is a great idea

>Recently, pulp and paper science and engineering graduates are shadowing supplier reps to see if that role is a fit for them and to give them a front lines and hands-on understanding of what products are being sold, how they are being used and how to work with customers. A very good approach.

2. What makes a supplier stand out positively for you?

>Clear answers, open book policy

>Honesty, and effective response to requests for information, quotes etc. Good follow up to ensure delivery of orders, and rapid resolution of any problems

>Their knowledge of what they are representing, and how it could be a advantage to my company.

>Professional, focused on helping me save money, run better, avoid downtime, etc. Returns phone calls promptly, not focused on hunting, fishing or sports events.

>Honesty and competence....both of which are often lacking.

>They stay on topic and don't waste my time with tales of woe or petty gripes. They tell me that they will supply what I need and then do it. If there's a problem, they take the initiative to make things right, even if it costs their employer some money.

>Honesty; timely response; good communication; does what they say, by when they promise; listen to our needs; doesn't bad mouth competitors

>Honest! Knows what he knows and tries to fill in the gaps in his knowledge before answering or committing

>Technical service and honesty

>Maintaining Eye Contact


>Responsive Knowledgeable If not knowledgeable finds out who is Answer to Q 3 - I don't particularly care about gender, race or age if they do the above

>Touches base every once in awhile to see how their product is doing. Asks when the next shutdown is so they can come on-site to do an inspection and asks if parts are needed for that shutdown. Has their service technician stop by when they are in the area working at another site, just to take a look, do a vibration check (or other non-intrusive test) or just talk to the operations/maintenance staff. Puts technical data and performance information on their website and keeps their site updated on what they sell. Facilitates a visit to another mill where equipment is being used that I am considering.

3. Which supplier would you find more credible?

45.0% Male

35.0% Female

20.0% Not Answered

4. Which supplier would you be more willing to allow to visit you?

45.0% Male

35.0% Female

20.0% Not Answered

5. Which supplier would you find more credible?

29.4% Someone of your own race

11.7% Someone of another race which is common in your country

11.7% Someone from another country

36.1% Other

11.7% Not Answered

>Not biased

>Someone who represents their company and product well. Don't care what gender, race or country they are from.

>I don't care about race or sex. The important thing for me is their knowledge and expertise, regardless of their "appearance".

>Not an issue


>It's OK to ask these questions to cause someone to think about their preferences/biases, but its not good survey practice.

6. How would personal grooming affect your opinion of suppliers?

28.0% No body piercings or tattoos

12.0% No suits

20.0% Clean, neat, military style

24.0% Casual relaxed style

04.0% Heavy perfume or cologne

12.0% Other

>They should be dressed appropriately for their position. If they are sales, they should be professional in their dress, neat and clean, with no piercings or excessive tattoos, free of strong perfumes, with correct apparel for going out on the floor.

>First impressions count, so moderation in all things. However, their appearance is secondary to their manner / language ...

>Unclear how to respond. No__xyz_____. I can respond to that, but do I check the other items if I prefer or do I dislike? So, if someone is coming to the mill, business casual is most appropriate from a practical, safety and professional standpoint.

This week's quiz is here.

Want to get a jump on the surveys? Follow me on twitter, where they are posted early. You can do this here. (note: all respondents are confidential; the software is programmed in such a way that neither we nor anyone else can determine who responded)



Want to be heard on other subjects? Be sure to watch for "Paperitalo Second Tuesday Surveys."



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