When you are a one or two person organization, your choice of suppliers can be one of the biggest factors in getting you off to a good start. Every organization depends on their suppliers, but micro-businesses need suppliers who are willing to provide information as well as products and services.
It is the quality of communication that makes the difference between an good supplier and a great supplier, in my book.
I have always managed to find good suppliers who provided high quality goods and services, but recently I discovered Roanoke Moulding Design, a great supplier of mouldings and framing supplies in Roanoke Virginia.
Fred Liady and Dorsey Taylor have been partners for 31 years and they were willing to give me the benefit of their experience when I visited them for the first time yesterday with a major project to complete and some gaps to fill in terms of materials to use and processes required for archival quality framing.
I am a woodworker and I have been doing picture framing for my wife Gretchen and others, but I now find myself doing custom framing for artists on a larger scale now and it is vital that I have connections to a heads-up company like Roanoke Moulding Design if I am going to deliver a range of framing services for original art, memorabilia, and for high quality reproductions.
Fred and Dorsey went out of their way to ensure that I had the information and supplies I needed for this rush job and that I had the catalogs and samples I needed to handle my growing backlog of work.
Their website is hard to digest and use, but their catalog is very helpful and they offer a full range of services as well as supplies to support retail frame shops. In order to get a catalog you will have to call 800-336-9623 because it isn’t listed on their website.
In a business environment that is changing constantly, staying in business is a continual learning experience and suppliers like Roanoke Moulding Design can help provide vital information that is not easily found elsewhere. The key factor for me is that they were helpful as well as competent.
No matter what business you are in, your suppliers should be helping you stay informed. It is a two-way street though. You should be giving them feedback on how well they are meeting your needs and whether their website works for you. It is these tight-knit "communities" of inter-dependent businesses that can anticipate and adapt to handle changing business conditions and buying patterns.