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How to Choose the Right Distributor for Your Industrial Hardware Manufacturing Business?




Every industrial hardware manufacturer needs a trustworthy distributor on their side. A reliable supplier is your key to quality products and satisfied customers. By offering equipment and spare parts at fair prices, they can help you grow and thrive. 

This is only the tip of the iceberg. Needless to say, you need trustworthy distributors and suppliers to turn a profit. The stakes are quite high.  

However, the market is flooded with industrial hardware distributors of various competencies. Choose the wrong one, and you’ll be in for a world of heartache.  

But how do you tell the great industrial hardware suppliers from the average ones? More importantly, how do you pick the right distributor for your business? Let’s find out.  

1. Conduct Specific Online Searches 

While you’re free to look up industrial hardware distributors online, try and steer clear of general searches. Instead, include keywords from your industry or niche. For example, a search for ‘alloy chain suppliers’ or ‘wire rope distributors’ will produce far more specific results than just ‘wholesalers’.

The more potential distributors you find, the better you’ll be able to compare quotes. Doing this will give you a feel of what normal industry prices look like. 

2. Consider the Distributor’s Reputation 

A distributor’s market reputation can tell you a lot about their proficiency. Look for an industrial hardware wholesaler who receives consistent praise from former and existing customers. Before deciding on a supplier, be sure to run a background check on them. Ask your peers for their opinions on the distributor’s service. In case they have a website, look up their list of offerings.  Visit neutral review sites for honest opinions.

Assess their previous and existing partners to weigh their reach. Also, check if they have any dedicated clientele. Longstanding relationships with manufacturers often hint at professionalism and reliability.  

3. Analyze their Experience 

Selecting the perfect industrial hardware is no walk in the park. The smallest kinks can result in disastrous consequences. For example, using faulty chains during an overhead lifting project may lead to struck-by-object accidents, classified under OSHA’s list of the top four construction hazards.  

In this regard, when you partner with a well-established industrial hardware supplier, you are less likely to receive shoddy products. Most experienced distributors are familiar with common quality issues in their niches. As a result, they can identify and resolve problems before they affect a significant section of the order.  

Remember that a verifiable track record speaks for itself. So, always opt for hardware suppliers with a few years of experience in their bag.

4. Assess their Performance 

As an entrepreneur, you probably don’t have enough time for underperforming partners. They can hamper operations and keep you from realizing your full potential. Any worthy distributor will follow through on their promises and act as a part of your team.  

In this regard, don’t take the supplier’s word for things. It’s surprisingly easy to fake commitment. Instead, request evidence of their successful partnerships with companies similar to yours. This should tell you if their motivation and engagement will persist even after the initial negotiations are complete. An industrial hardware distributor is only as good as the products they deliver.  

5. See if They Are Willing to Work with You

Truth be told, there’s no one ‘ideal’ supplier. A large-scale manufacturer will have different requirements than a small business with an online shop. 

Industrial hardware distributors come in all forms and sizes. Needless to say, each have their individual visions. The key is to partner with a wholesaler whose goals match yours. 

Culture fit is especially significant for smaller businesses. Large-scale distributors are often unavailable for SMBs. Even if they do accept your orders, they may keep you waiting for a long, long time.

Quit chasing after big names and look for a supplier who is willing to keep your needs front and center. 

There are plenty of questions you can ask a potential industrial hardware supplier to examine culture fit. A few of these include:

  • What types of manufacturing companies do they usually work with?
  • Do they have a minimum order quantity?
  • Do they have any prior experience in your industry?
  • Are they willing to customize their quote to meet your requirements?

6. Prepare a Rock-Solid Agreement 

Once you find a distributor who checks all your boxes, create a comprehensive agreement laying down every nitty-gritty aspect of the partnership. Ideally, it should include details about quality standards and requirements, among other things.  

Furthermore, the agreement must highlight the precise expectations you and the industrial hardware wholesaler have of each other to avoid surprises along the way. Be wary of vague language and phrases, as these may be used against you in the future.

Bottom Line 

There’s no denying that a competent hardware distributor can work wonders for your manufacturing company. With a distributor providing you with all the industrial equipment you need; you can focus on building your business further. Hopefully, this post will help you find a skilled hardware distributor with enough experience in their area.

Your search for a reliable industrial hardware distributor ends with Elite Sales Inc. We have distribution centers across the country offering state-of-the-art hardware supplies to manufacturing businesses. Contact us today to know more! 

About the Author:

I am Randy Gonzales. I am the President of Elite Sales Inc, rigging equipment and wire rope distribution company based in Miami, Tampa, Houston, and Dyer. I have more than 30 years of experience in the distribution and supply of the industrial hardware industry.

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