With more than 285,000 U.S. automotive supplier sites (across all tiers), there’s a lot to consider as you learn how to choose an automotive films supplier. Straightforward concerns like location and product availability come first, naturally, but these are just the foot-in-the-door filters in your evaluation process.
When picking a business to partner with, you’ll want to look for the following criteria for selecting a supplier:
Competitive Costs that Don’t Compromise Quality
It’s no secret that price is the first stop when comparing automotive films suppliers. Cost efficiency allows gains to be passed on to OEMs and upper tier businesses in the supply chain. However, competitive costs are not the only part of the equation. The supplier you’ll ultimately use needs to demonstrate a standard of quality that never cuts corners to earn additional business.
Make sure to ask for swatches and samples of the film or automotive marking product so that you can test it internally before committing to the supplier relationship. Many suppliers can meet spec at nearly the same price in today’s highly competitive market, but a quality supplier might surprise you and exceed your needs without added costs.
Knowledge and Expertise
The best automotive films suppliers are worth much more than just their product to your business. An RFQ with a knowledgeable, helpful supplier may reveal shortcomings you hadn’t noticed in the spec of the materials you first requested. Experts on the supply side of automotive adhesives can offer you meaningful advice and alternatives that can foresee or solve your design problems before you discover them in a physical product.
You’ll want to find a supplier that expresses clear confidence and comfort in their diverse product knowledge and installation expertise. Ask a lot of questions. Learn how well they truly understand their product. A well-informed business partner is a value-added product in and of themselves.
Outstanding Customer Service
There are many automotive films suppliers out there with the baseline physical capacity to deliver the needed product. What separates ‘the wheat from the chaff,’ so to speak, is how they do it.
A responsive, timely, and informative supplier can make the whole process go that much more smoothly with no added effort on your part. Find a supplier with a reputation for being extremely easy and helpful to work with— some quick research can make a huge difference. If not, you’ll get a sense in the initial communications whether a supplier will be punctual with emails and understanding about your needs.
A Commitment to Quality Control
Are you considering a long-term or high-volume relationship? A site visit can go a long way in vetting an automotive films supplier if you have time for the extra footwork. Look for a facility that is clean, well-lit, and organized for optimal efficiency.
These are clear signs in the manufacturing space of a supplier’s serious commitment to quality control. A supply site that impresses you with its tidy, ergonomic layout will let you know that they take pride in their quality and their product. This reduces the risk of challenges and inconsistencies for you down the line.