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Find the Right Material Supplier

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Not sure where to start when onboarding a new supplier? There are several qualities to consider when searching for a supply partner. You may be tempted to find the lowest price, but when starting your search, you should first consider what you are looking for in a supplier to ensure you are getting the quality, consistency and attention you require. Here are tips to help guide you through the process to build lasting supplier relationships that enable you to meet your materials sourcing goals.


There are two types of supply partners, transactional and long-term. Transactional suppliers fulfill short-term requirements and provide prompt availability and price; long-term supply partnerships focus on consistent and reliable supply over an extended period of time.

Patience is a virtue. When qualifying a new material or developing a new product, the application trials take time. Often, the first sample of material is not the exact specification as you move to production quantities of the final large-volume material. You may identify a different particle size or chemical specification along the trial which then needs to be trialed and supplied. The sample period is crucial; use this time to evaluate your supplier.

Relationship building is paramount to successful material sourcing for your company. You need to trust your supplier is the right fit for your production needs, and that happens over time. You want to develop a respectful, harmonious rapport that leads to a trusted partner in the industry.

Don’t take the supplier’s website at face value. Posted prices on chemical supply websites are often misleading and not inclusive of all costs. You may find expenses such as repackaging, delivery terms, freight fluctuations, or current raw material price added on at the end, leading to a higher cost than expected. Additionally, crucial aspects of the material sale such as lead time, availability, and chemical analysis may not be readily available. This is where having a trusted partner comes in handy.

Know your supplier’s production capabilities. Your supplier should have diversity of supply up and down the value chain, and across the product mix as it streamlines your purchasing efficiency. READE has seen unprecedented gaps in the supply chain due to worldwide raw material shortages, rising prices, and extended lead times. It’s imperative to know your supplier has alternative solutions for you to meet these challenges and keep you in production.


Does the Buy American Act implicate or govern your purchasing decisions? If so, it’s imperative to know where your materials are manufactured. Certificate of origin documents are available and important in many end-use applications. 

Partnering with a distributor that understands customs documentation and importing procedures ensures your supplier is sourcing material that fits their origin specifications.

Transparency is key. Be cautious of distributors that repackage and relabel. it is imperative to know where your material comes from which can ensure lot-to-lot consistency and increase accuracy of your testing procedures.

Does the supplier practice Responsible Sourcing? In order to achieve your sustainability goals, it is important to understand the Environmental, Social and Corporate Governance criteria the supplier is being evaluated on.

To learn more about ESG, click over to our blog “ESG In The Advanced Material Industry”.

While this is not an exhaustive list of qualities you should consider when onboarding a new supplier, it will certainly help identify those you can rely on. READE has over 200 years of experience in the chemical and advanced material sourcing industry, an unwavering commitment to quality, and an expert team to help you achieve your material sourcing goals. Contact us today if you would like to learn more.


Reade Advanced Materials is a 100 year-old plus metal powder supplier and represents over 2,000 manufacturers worldwide with a diverse inorganic product line. READE also offers toll processing and packaging services for metal powders from three facilities in The Americas. As your metal powder supplier, READE offers one of the largest portfolios of specialty chemical solids. The materials are available in an extensive range of forms including sheet, foil, film, lump, powder, rod, wire, and tube.


Director of Marketing
Elisabeth Law, +1-401-433-7000