When you’re in need of bearings for your business, there are many different suppliers vying for your business. Each supplier will have their own marketing pitch – the big manufacturers will say that their brand is the only one worth considering while smaller shops may focus on a certain niche. In the end, which option is right for you and your business?
The truth is that the size of a bearing supplier doesn’t matter if it can’t meet all your needs. There are a variety of factors that can affect just how beneficial your bearing supplier is to your business. If a supplier checks off all the boxes, then you’ve potentially found a special partner for your business. If not, it may be time to evaluate other opportunities. Here are the five factors you should consider when working with a bearing supplier.
Bearing quality, variety and price
It’s good to have options. It’s even better to have options that meet or exceed your quality needs.
Big bearing manufacturers may warn against shopping around for your next bearing order because of “quality concerns.” The reality is that those same big manufacturers use smaller manufacturers to make bearings for them and sell them for a bigger profit when you could instead work with a supplier that gives you access to those same quality parts without the markup. If those smaller bearing manufacturers are good enough for them, shouldn’t they be good enough for you?
If a sales rep questions your decision to shop around, it may be a sign that it’s time to look for a different supplier. Different manufacturers around the world have different strengths, so it benefits you to try and find the right manufacturer for your needs – or to find a supplier who knows how to identify those manufacturers. Ritbearing’s network of bearing manufacturers was built to not only compete with the major manufacturers, but to also give you more options to find quality parts at competitive pricing.
Ability to provide custom bearings
“One size fits all” is a great idea when it works, but that’s not always the case. Even if a supplier has partnerships with several different manufacturers, you may need something beyond regularly available bearing solutions.
A square peg doesn’t fit in a round hole, so it’s important to work with a supplier that can customize a simpler – and better – solution. Certain suppliers have an engineering team that can provide bearing design and modification services and work with manufacturers to provide custom-engineered bearings that meet your exact specifications for an application.
Need your bearings to be made of a corrosion-resistant material? No problem. Hoping to get a slimmer bearing that won’t take up too much space in your design? That can be done. Custom bearings give you options that can make the whole purchasing process easier, but only if you work with a supplier that can help you beyond standard products. In addition, certain suppliers can accommodate smaller minimum order requirements and get your order to you in months instead of years. Not only will this save you money upfront, it’ll also prevent lengthy stoppages in the work process by getting your bearings to you faster.
The phrase “time is money” is as true today as it was back when Benjamin Franklin used it in Advice to a Young Tradesmen, Written by an Old One back in 1748. Slow order fulfillment is an unnecessary waste of both time and money, which is a problem when major manufacturers can make you wait up to two years to fulfill your order.
Fortunately, you don’t need to settle for companies that measure order fulfillment in years. Other suppliers can turn around orders in months. For example, a five-month turnaround is considered a long delay at Ritbearing. Don’t be afraid to ask various suppliers how long they expect order fulfillment to take to try and determine which one is best for your timeline.
Another unfortunate side effect of long orders is that some manufacturers or suppliers may try and hit you with a “cost at time of shipment” policy. You know how it goes: The price of bearings is directly impacted by the price of the raw materials (most notably steel) used to make them. Because of this, what you pay for an order and what you thought you would pay for an order can be very different amounts depending on your supplier’s pricing policy. However, some suppliers won’t change their price from the original quote, so ask ahead about a potential supplier’s policy to find out if you may owe more than you’d expect in the future.
Complicated is not a word that you want to hear when it comes to your storage. Of course, it’s something that might be a reality when you’re dealing with inventory.
Whether it’s an issue of unexpected costs of storage or simply a matter of not having enough space, inventory management can quickly become a complicated process. It doesn’t have to be that way if you work with a bearing supplier that provides warehouse storage and just-in-time delivery for all your bearing needs.
It’s not always possible for a company to plan for storage space, and that’s even if you have warehouse storage to begin with. Some suppliers keep a wide variety of product on shelves so that they can quickly ship out orders or replacement parts when you need it. In addition, having your supplier bear the burden of having extra inventory available helps you save in many other ways. Additional warehousing costs include:
- Employing a management team and additional staff
- Maintaining a security staff or central monitoring system
- Ensuring you have appropriate equipment like pallets, forklifts, and fuel
- Planning around damaged or lost stock and wasted space
Product quality, order fulfillment, custom order capabilities, and inventory management are all signs of a good bearing supplier, but one of the biggest factors doesn’t have to do with a product. Sometimes it’s about the people.
Personalized service can have a major impact on how you view your bearing supplier. A supplier that works with smaller orders, honors contracts, and quickly schedules face-to-face meetings is a major advantage for companies used to dealing with vendors who are unwilling to provide special solutions based on your needs.
Another advantage of a bearing supplier dedicated to personalized service is that they don’t play games with your contract. Nobody wants to deal with a supplier that changes the pricing from an original quote to the delivery of the product or try to pull any other shady business. You want to work with a company that provides high-quality bearings, not contract headaches.
Work with a bearing supplier that meets all your needs
There you have it – the five ideal traits of a premier bearing supplier. If you’re in need of a bearing supplier that can meet all five of these criteria, it’s time to get in touch with Ritbearing.
At Ritbearing, we’re dedicated to providing quality bearing products at cost-effective prices while offering a variety of value-added services that help you get the most out of your bearing solutions. Not only that, we like to meet face-to-face, and we typically schedule appointments within five to seven days of contact. You shouldn’t have to wait to see who you’re buying from, and we’ll do what we can to make sure your get the service you deserve.
Want to learn more about how Ribearing can provide your business with the right bearing solutions for your applications? Request a quote or contact today to get in touch with our team about your bearing needs.