Working out whether a company is trustworthy

How comfortable are you with the companies you place your trust, and possibly, your professional reputation in?

Have you thought about when placing an order, no matter how large, with a supplier whether they will be able to fulfil that order? There are ways you can minimise the level of risk. Some things will ring alarm bells early on when you are researching potential suppliers.

It maybe that you have had a great relationship with an organisation, and they’ve never let you down and that’s great. But what about in an area where you need to find a new supplier, or for a product that you have never had to source?

It’s all about trust. How can you be sure that companies who you choose do what they promise?

I suppose it’s a little like – how important are brands’ when making purchasing decisions. With a brand you know, and trust, you feel as if they won’t let you down – whether in terms of product performance and reliability, and if something goes wrong then they’ll do right by you and put it right. A known brand stands for something – it’s a little like having a safety blanket.

If you work in an environment where the brand is less well-known then you need some reassurance that the company is doing things correctly and are not going to let you down and compromise you. In an environment where decisions are made on technical performance, aesthetics and price you need to be able to make decisions that you can feel comfortable with.

One of the ways professional buying decisions can be made a little safer is if the manufacturer/supplier meets the criteria of recognised standards. An area that has been recognised for many years is in Quality and the Environment. Two standards are used to identify competent and reliable organisations, ISO 9001 and ISO 14001. ISO, InternationalOrganization for Standardization, is an organisation sets these standards that companies work to, and become accredited. They regularly audit companies to ensure they maintain the requirements set out in the Standards.

Lot’s of companies don’t bother with meeting and achieving recognised standards such as ISO 9001 and ISO 14001 so why should you worry about choosing a company to partner with that has invested in achieving these standards.

If a company is prepare to invest significant resource and money in fulfilling the requirements of recognised standards then they are probably going be a company that has high levels of responsibility in terms of quality, customer service and performance. If a company doesn’t invest in achieving and maintaining standards it is likely that they will cut corners elsewhere and there could be a risk to selecting them as a supplier.

For more information about the ISO Standards: