As a market or store owner or even a buyer you want to provide your customers with the highest-quality meats at prices that don’t break the bank. The best way to ensure quality is with locally-processed meats, and the best way to ensure affordable prices is with a variety of distinct cuts. That’s why it’s so important to choose the right company for your needs. Here’s how to do it.
There are several questions you can ask your meat vendor to determine whether they’re offering you the best products for the best prices. They include:
- Which markets do you serve currently? Can I contact them as references?
- Can I taste your products before I commit?
- How do slaughter dates, packing dates, and shipping dates compare? (This helps to ensure that your meat is fresh.)
- What sort of meats do you provide? (Getting all your meat from one vendor makes invoicing easier and saves you time.)
- Can I visit your warehouse? (Ensuring that the warehouse is roomy and offers safe storage will help ensure that you’re getting a safe, clean product.)
- Are your meats certified organic?
Negotiation is part of making a deal with any meat vendor. This includes not only a discussion of prices, but also delivery frequency. You’ll want to make certain that your chosen vendor has a reputation of delivering the promised goods on time, and it’s also important that you’ll never be forced to buy more product than you can sell. Unfortunately, some vendors only sell product in significant bulk, and this overbuying can lead to lost profits. Negotiate your payment terms, too; will you pay up front or every 30 days? Finally, get everything in writing so there are no possible discrepancies.
Dealing with Short Orders or Damaged Products
Your vendor should have a protocol in place for you to deal with short orders or damaged products. After all, nothing is worse than receiving a shipment that doesn’t contain what you ordered, or one that contains imperfect cuts or spoiled meat. The best way to avoid this is to work with a vendor that works hard to avoid these issues with attention to detail and well-trained staff, but you should always go with a company that has a quick, fair process in place for fixing any order that didn’t go as planned.
Build a Relationship with Your Meat Vendor
Finally, if you really want to make sure that you’re getting the best quality meat at the best prices, it’s important to take time to meet with your vendor in person or over the phone. This way, should you run into issues in the future, your vendor can work with you to help resolve them. For example, if a certain cut isn’t selling well, being able to change your order on the fly will save you money and help prevent lost revenue. If you build a good working relationship with your vendor, this is far more likely.
Choosing the right meat company is important for your company and your customers’ satisfaction in the end. The tips listed here will help you make the right decision, whether you’ve just opened your market or you’re interested in making a change.