In today's fast changing marketplace, if you don't have what your customer wants, you're likely to lose that customer. That's why it's increasingly important to be able to source whatever you need or your customer asks for.

But sometimes that's a lot easier said than done. Where do you go to find that special hardware for a custom home theater installation? Where are you going to locate the exotic hardwood that very good customer wants?

And it's not just about special order items. While it's important to maintain good long-term relationships with suppliers and distributors, it's just as important to know what all your available options are so you can ensure you get the best quality and service on everything you buy.

Now that's all consumables. What about machinery and tools? It's not like the local hardware store has a wide selection of professional table saws, edgebanders or CNC routers on display. To find the machines and tools to make your business as productive as possible, you need to find sources that understand woodworking businesses and their special needs. But where do you look?

The answer to all these questions is right here in these pages. CabinetMaker's annual Buying Guide & Directory is pages upon pages of the sources you need to feed and grow your business. This year's edition has been updated and fine-tuned to make it easier to use and more efficient to find things. There are dozens of categories and sub-categories and an extensive Suppliers Master Index with contact information for hundreds of suppliers anxious to do business with you.

Here's an opportunity to expand your horizons. Even if you are happy with all of your current suppliers, check out the options and see who else might be interested in your business. Give them a call and a chance to earn your business. Whether you add them to your permanent suppliers list, use them just for a special order or happily return to your old faithful source, you've raised your business intelligence level and know more about the market. Smarter business means smarter sourcing.

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