The automotive industry is huge. Accordingly, there are a great number of suppliers for every aspect of modern automobiles, from the most crucial engine parts to the most superficial body parts. However, not all auto body parts suppliers are created equally. It isn't a matter of finding which supplier is the best, but rather which is the best for your individual needs. Different parts suppliers have different specialties, and these are what you need to look for.
The first thing to consider in a parts supplier's list of specialties is the materials they use. For instance, some auto parts suppliers will focus on body elements made of aluminum alloys, which are considerably lighter and intended for lighter vehicles. Heavy-duty vehicles will require material more like ductile iron. Go with the supplier that offers the materials most useful to your purposes whenever possible, as this is where their experience lies. It will also mean a likely increase in quality; a heavy-duty parts supplier might also sell lighter parts for different purposes, but their heavier parts will likely be superior in quality.
Consider next whether you need a supplier that specializes in custom parts or one that opts to mass-manufacture components. Again, a single supplier might offer both, but will likely focus on one or the other. You should opt for the supplier that provides what you need. Custom parts suppliers will likely be more expensive on the whole, and order turnaround will take longer. However, suppliers focused on mass-manufacture may be more difficult to work with for any degree of customization, making it difficult to work with them for some specifics.
Finally, you'll want to consider the size of the supplier you're working with. Developing a relationship can be a beneficial option in the long-term. This is easiest to do with smaller suppliers, but smaller suppliers aren't always able to provide prices as low as their larger counterparts. Weighing the pros and cons of how difficult establishing a business relationship will be is a key element affecting business decisions about suppliers, and size is one of the most relevant factors.
Knowing what to prioritize is important when picking a supplier. The best decision isn't always the most obvious, nor is it always the decision that looks best on paper. Approaching different suppliers from a variety of angles is the best way to secure a good outcome for the future of your business.