If I were a purchasing agent looking at a local supplier versus a distant supplier to supply your product, following would be the factors that I would be considering in my selection decision:
Addition of newer supplier base: To ensure more variety of products available for further sales, it is essential that apart from maintaining relations with the old suppliers, I extend my horizon to tap the newer ones. Also, it shall help to safeguard me against the shortage of stock with the older suppliers or to meet with the sudden demand of more stocks from the newer suppliers.
Tapping the demand: The demand analysis is essential to ensure what is the demand opportunity of the products that is availed from the local supplier and what could be the possible demand of the products, if availed from the distant supplier. If the demand can be met by the local supplier itself, then there may not be a need to cater to a distant supplier to supply our product, which may otherwise usually come with a higher transportation and handling cost.
Quality and variety of the products: If the distant supplier can supply a better quality of product with more range of variety available, then the same could be chosen otherwise if the same is fulfilled by the local supplier, then I would resort to such a supplier accordingly.
Clearance of the screening process: Be it local or distant, the suppliers should qualify the screening process for getting chosen. This screening process shall involve various types of financial and reference checks, the availability of the surge capacity, overall quality criteria, etc.
Information requests to the suppliers: Various information requests could be obtained from the suppliers before the supplier is selected, be it local or a distant one before finalizing upon the supplier. Such a request could include Request for Information or Request for Proposal, etc.
Contract terms: Even the terms of the contract is very significant before considering the local or distant supplier. The various terms of payment and non-payment need to be evaluated well and then zeroed down upon the final supplier.