Better vendor relationships for global success 09 January 2024

In today’s volatile business landscape, minimising surprise in global sourcing may seem like an impossible task. However, it’s not about predicting the future, it’s about being prepared for unexpected challenges. Here Keith Kentish, group commercial director at TFC, an AFC Industries company, explains how a global sourcing partner can assist in navigating tomorrow’s unforeseen challenges.

Supply chain disruptions, fluctuating commodity prices and geopolitical uncertainties have become major concerns for manufacturers. The past few years have been particularly turbulent – marked by the Covid-19 pandemic, raw material shortages, component scarcities and ongoing conflicts. These factors have heightened the need for reliable and efficient supply chain networks.

To gain a comprehensive understanding of the present supply chain landscape, it is essential to examine the stability and continuity of commodity prices. While price fluctuations can be worrisome, many commodity prices have now plateaued or experienced a significant slowdown in their rate of increase. This stability allows businesses to focus on other critical aspects, such as manufacturer and
supplier dynamics.

Managing a diverse portfolio of C-Class products poses unique challenges for medium and large sized manufacturers. These companies typically prioritise production efficiency, product quality improvement, and new product introduction programmes, leaving little time and resources for sourcing and managing the availability of C-Class products. Sourcing these products from multiple vendors results in a multitude of relationships to manage, numerous orders to process, as well as the need to negotiate prices across fluctuating market levels.

To overcome these challenges, many manufacturers are deciding to outsource the responsibility for sourcing components – relying on a single, reliable global sourcing partner instead of dealing with multiple vendors themselves. By streamlining vendor management and consolidating the sourcing process, manufacturers can significantly reduce the complexities associated with sourcing C-Class products.

For example, TFC conducted an extensive analysis of a customer’s current vendors and identified opportunities to source comparable brand items at reduced costs without compromising product quality. This involves auditing suppliers worldwide, ensuring adherence to quality, service and abiding by ethical standards. By establishing trusted relationships with vendors, a global sourcing partner can effectively manage a global supply network.

But how does this partnership minimise surprise? With ‘hands on’ experience and continuous training, global sourcing specialists are well equipped to understand manufacturers’ C-Class product requirements and provide valuable strategic advice, including change management.  


Content Director

Will Lowry Content Director t: +44 (0) 1727 743 888


Will joined Fastener + Fixing Magazine in 2007 and over the last 15 years has experienced every facet of the fastener sector - interviewing key figures within the industry and visiting leading companies and exhibitions around the globe.

Will manages the content strategy across all platforms and is the guardian for the high editorial standards that the Magazine is renowned.