Due to a dramatically increasing demand for aviation training and simulators’ availability, more and more frequently training devices deal with various unexpected technical breakdowns which are required to be resolved within a very short period of time. Weather these are parts of a visual system, host computer or even avionics, any system is prevented from failures. Thus, there always comes a time when a training centre is in need of additional or new suppliers.
The main reasons making companies reach out for help from new suppliers:
- Regular suppliers do not have enough capabilities to offer all the parts needed. Even if a supplier is extremely reliable and in most cases helped to resolve issues, a client may receive a response “no quote”. This is a common situation which can be encountered sooner or later.
- Suggested time of resolving a problem is too long. It is not a secret that a lot of suppliers hold their stock in the AR condition and often delivery of certified parts takes more time (1-2 weeks).
- Companies are looking for a less expensive way to eliminate the problem. Sometimes it happens that the price of the offered solution is too high. It is a common situation when talking about avionics.
- Companies are searching for alternative solutions. There is always more than one way to solve a problem, thus, a company can buy, repair or exchange the needed part. Therefore, there are only a few companies which are able to offer all the services for the same part.
- A request sent to a larger amount of suppliers on a daily basis can bring surprisingly beneficial results. It means that a client can get an exceptionally good offer for a significantly lower price compared to other suppliers.
How to choose a reliable supplier?
Not surprisingly with a booming world of aviation, and the growing number of aircraft in particular, the need for flight simulators is also increasing. More and more companies delivering services are entering the market as it has huge prospects in terms of growth and development, however, not all the companies are reliable enough.
As not all training centres are capable of auditing their suppliers of aircraft and simulator parts, we have decided to provide you with some practical pieces of advice which might appear to be useful when purchasing parts or services:
- History. It is not only about the history of your cooperation with the supplier, it is also about the references from your colleagues. Does your colleague from another training centre have any experience of working with this supplier? Thus, one of the main criteria when choosing a new supplier is sharing the experience, even if it was not pleasant.
- Reference list from a supplier. Also, it is a good idea to get a client list from the supplier you are going to work with. This will allow you to understand if the supplier is reliable or not. Nevertheless, this is not the only aspect to be considered. It is advisable to make several phone calls, get to know for how long your colleague has been in contact with the supplier, if the purchases from the supplier were frequent, if there were any misunderstandings and how the company managed to solve them.
- Information about a part. Such supplementary information about a part as images, certificates, trace documents are positive signs proving that a supplier provides you with accurate facts. Also, when asking for an image of a component a client can ask a supplier to capture a visiting card. At the first glance it might seem to be an oddity, however, this serves as an evidence of details being present in the stock.
- Website, social channels check. The supplier’s website, all the details, current clients’ recommendations, images from exhibitions, activity through social channels – all these are important features building the supplier’s reputation. The company’s profile on LinkedIn, employees, their experience and activity on the market – this kind of information is easy to find.
- Google. Today almost everything can be found through the Internet, starting from the address on Google Maps (if the satellite view shows that the company is located somewhere in the fields, it might be a valuable hint about the company) to details available on various forums. If the supplier is not reliable, there is a probability that someone has already mentioned it.
- A call to a supplier. Just a simple call to a supplier, short discussions with different employees (administrator-sales person-accountant) can help to create an image of the supplier.
- Counter offer. It is obvious that newly established companies can have limited resources and possibilities to share stories about their cooperation with companies you might know or they can fail to provide comprehensive information available on the Internet. Nevertheless, even if all the methods mentioned above prove to be ineffective, there is one more way to deal with the situation. You can offer a supplier to apply NET terms of purchase. However, do not get surprised if you are checked as well because in this case some risks will be taken by a supplier, too.
There is no doubt that all these methods cannot guarantee that you will not face any inconveniences. These are only guidelines that can help to lower the risk.
Finally, one more piece of advice: if you get an offer which seems to be too good to be true, most probably this is exactly what it is.