Six Things to Consider When Choosing a Supplier

The collision repair industry is highly competitive, and repairers face many choices that can have a significant impact on their businesses. Choosing the right direct repair programs (DRPs), parts suppliers, and paint suppliers are just a few decisions collision repair business owners face. And while paint and materials represent just 9-12% of a shop’s gross sales, choosing the right distributor can help grow your business, and make you more profitable.

Here are six things to consider when choosing a paint supplier:

  1. Reliability. Late/incomplete orders, responsiveness to issues, ease-of-use; all of these can affect not only your expenses but also affect your customer service. You are dependent on your vendors and need to make sure they are meeting your expectations, and not adding stress to your already hectic workday.
  2. Value. Most businesses view their suppliers as a cost that affects the bottom line and look for ways to reduce those expenses. But a good distributor will provide you with additional value that can help offset those costs. A reliable supplier can help you enter new markets, improve end-customer satisfaction, provide training, and contribute to business processes that help streamline repair flow, making the shop more money!
  3. Stability. Aligning with a supplier who has industry experience and has longevity in the marketplace brings knowledge to a collision repair shop. It’s worth it to exercise your due diligence by fully vetting a distributor before you enter into a partnership with them.
  4. Price. Price does matter, but you need to make sure you are getting the best value for the money you’re investing. If your supplier’s product is inferior, it could result in extra costs for returns, replacements, and a risk of losing business due to delays. Instead of looking for the lowest price, focus on searching for a competitively priced supplier that also offers a quality product with a formidable reputation in the industry. “The bitterness of low quality remains long after the sweetness of low price is gone.”
  5. Services. Good Distributors are true business partners. When going through the process of selecting a paint distributor, take time to interview them. Ask them the tough questions. What additional services do they provide? Do they offer training? What are their tech support services? Have them tell you about a time they had to go above and beyond for a customer.
  6. Location. If a potential supplier is too far away to serve you in a timely manner, it could lead to costly downtime if your shop runs out of product. A good distributor also can help determine adequate stocking levels to ensure your shop has the right products readily available. Should an emergency product outage arise, a good local distributor will be there for you.

Gipe Auto Color knows the collision repair industry. With 8 convenient locations, and in business since 1931, we’re here to serve you. At Gipe Auto Color, our mission is to establish mutually beneficial relationships with our customers by providing customer-focused services, products, and solutions. We invite you to learn more about PPG™ and Gipe Auto Color by visiting us at www.gipeautocolor.com, or send us an email at info@gipeautocolor.com.

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