Top 10 Tips on Assessing A Supplier

on Mon 29 March 2010

by Gordon Glenister, Director-General, bpma 

Gordon Glenister is Director-General of the British Promotional Merchandise Association (bpma), a post he has held since 2006.

Established in 1965, the bpma is the UK’s leading industry body dedicated to promoting best practice around the sourcing, manufacturing and distribution of promotional products. (

Prior to joining the bpma, Gordon was MD of 1stIncentives Ltd, a company which specialised in sourcing and supplying promotional gifts (among other things), so he has first hand experience of sourcing promotional products.

Here he gives his Top 10 Tips on assessing a potential supplier:

  1. Has your proposed supplier got a good credit rating and trading history?
  2. How do prices and product range compare?
  3. Are they members of an approved trade organisation like the bpma?
  4. Look at their website – are there case studies/testimonials re. previous work?
  5. Will they meet delivery deadlines and do they have a fast service offering?
  6. What quality control systems do they have in place eg ISO 9001, etc?
  7. Have they won any awards?
  8. What are their payment terms like – do they meet with your requirements?
  9. How do they present themselves on the phone/email/face to face?
  10. Are they SEDEX approved –


Gordon Glenister

Director General, bpma

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