Help with finding a suitable IT supplier

  Kyle145354 16:25 PM 14 Sep 10

Hi all,

I've just been given the task at work of sourcing some new IT supplier for the medium sized business I work for. The first IT category I have to find suppliers for is IT peripherals/miscellaneous/wires/cable/consumables....etc. I have no experience of the IT world and so am struggling to find suitable suppliers who can supply us with the multitude of products that we are looking for. We have a yearly spend in this category of around £500,000 and so I really do need a cost effective and reliable supplier.

Any help or suggestions would be greatly appreciated????


  Marko797 17:01 PM 14 Sep 10

that any company of the size which you indicate (medium) would have an established procurement process as part of their Quality Management System.

Why don't you speak to your Quality Manager firstly, as it's normal for any suppliers to go through the preferred supplier process in order to get on a company list, so they can then supply you with goods and services?

It's a vetting process if you like, which provides assurances to the company seeking the services.

  wee eddie 18:44 PM 14 Sep 10

its an Assignment set by a College Lecturer!

  Kyle145354 22:02 PM 14 Sep 10

a college assignment. Our procurement department has only been set up in the past few months and at present is in transition from a de-centralized model to a more controlled and centralized model. As part of this process I have been asked to compile a list of potential suppliers for this category.

We are also, with the help of our Quality Assurance manager, aiming to create a vetting and supplier quality process but this will take time.

In the mean time, does anyone please have any suggestions as to my original problem regarding finding potential suppliers.

Your help would be much appreciated.

  Forum Editor 23:00 PM 14 Sep 10

would be to identify your requirements in detail, and then approach various suppliers and ask them to tender. It may be that purchasing will be on an ad-hoc basis, rather than being based on an annual planned spend, in which case your procurement process will be more complex.

If you have some idea of a time-lined purchasing programme I might be able to suggest some suppliers - I suggest you wouldn't want to commit to just one.

  wee eddie 23:07 PM 14 Sep 10

as they each run Loss Leaders on the Bulk Purchase Items and make their turn on the small quantity Items.

The Specification you gave us appears to cover everything from Servers, via Printers, to Paper goods.

Dell, have a fine reputation in the Business Computer Market, but "I hae me doots" about their 'own Brand' Printers, never the less, worth checking out.

Viking are very competitive on the Paper and Inks side of things, but their Printers seem to be last years models.

I hate to say this but PC World aren't as bad as some would have you believe and they can become quite competitive (I think that Staples is part of their Group) when it comes to supplying Businesses with Office Ware.

  Kyle145354 08:54 AM 15 Sep 10

our IT into sub-categories, I have compiled a list of the items we have bought over the last year and have been sending them to suppliers with a Request for Quotation.

The one I am trying to find suppliers for seems to be the trickiest one as Forum Editor eluded to, we are buying things on an ad-hoc basis predominantly, mixed in with some annual spend on items such as printer cartridges, media storage tapes/disks, etc...

We already have an agreement with HP portal which gives us a pretty big discount as well as agreements to lease printers/copiers, IT solutions, Software licenses, Servers, etc. The problem is that we tend to buy quite a lot of IT peripherals such as cables, MS suites, External hard drives, memory upgrades and the sort to the extent of £500,000 over the course of the year. For all of these items I require a supplier who can get all of them to us with good reliability and price. I've only been able to find a handful so far with click here looking the most promising.

Is there anywhere you could suggest that I could look as I have mainly been using search engines at present with limited success.

  wee eddie 10:24 AM 15 Sep 10

It frequently hides the possibility that the Original Price was higher than it need be.

  Marko797 10:57 AM 15 Sep 10

couldn't open your link, however, why don't you try and keep this as simple as possible? Not sure whether you wish to stick with local suppliers, or deal nationally.

Draw up a list of the services/supplies which you need.

Use, or hard copy 'yellow pages', google (I'm sure you've done this however already) and search for the suppliers which provide what you want. Might be time consuming however unless you can narrow the search by area/radius.

Draw up a list of say 10 suppliers, and then call them to confirm they can supply what you want.

Reduce the list to say 5 suppliers, and ask them to tender (if necessary) for the work, and go through your preferred supplier process. If ad-hoc purchasing then this might not be necessary.

Do you know anyone in another company who have contracts with the types of suppliers which you want? You could get some ideas possibly from them.

  Forum Editor 17:19 PM 15 Sep 10

is part of a group. Is there no group purchasing arrangement in place for IT supplies?

You can certainly arrange a volume licensing deal with Microsoft - click here for further information on that.

Memory should come from Crucial - the best supplier in the business click here for details of their enterprise sales operation.

Hard drives and cables? Look at Ebuyer's business account - click here

They'll provide you with pretty well anything you need at very competitive prices.

  wiz-king 17:21 PM 15 Sep 10

You will need several suppliers. I would use one for odds and sods like cables, adaptors and small consumables. Another for printer consumables and a main agent for large items like PC's and printers.
The money you might save by buying cheap consumables will be eaten up by the time taken to shop around. If you go to somewhere like Misco click here for your old and ends you wont go far wrong.
Get your purchasing dept to let you get small value orders - say up to £200 as 'petty cash' orders and write them off when bought (not as capital purchases). That will save a lot of money.


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