As a retailer or importer, one of the most important factors that influence your brand image is your reach and accessibility to your supply chain counterparts. This is imperative to maintaining your inventory /sales, to avoid last-minute delivery hassles.
Most importantly, any reworking costs need to be avoided after reaching the destination. The reworking costs are exponential as compared to any costs incurred at the source of manufacture.
In times post the new normal ecosystems, where frequent travels are not feasible considering restrictions and ease of travel, it is more feasible to have a reliable partner in the importing countries.
Your partner might be either of the below:
1/ Longtime associated, reliable supplier
2/ Sourcing agent
3/ Service provider like a Third-Party inspection and audit company.
4/ Logistics or forwarding agent.
5/ Affiliate partner (e.g, a long term source or partner who your company has been associated with for a long time)
We have seen that normally the retailers/importers in customer segments, do not give more opportunity for interaction for their supply chain partners with respect to their supply chain process. Having been a Customer Support Manager in the field of Conformity assessments for last 10 years as well as being as, sometimes I wish, I could tell them what they are missing out on ….
Hence below I am sharing some excerpts from my interview with some of our customers who have benefitted from this kind of a vis:
- What are the benefits you get from these engagement calls?
We do not have an office in India at present. While managing deliveries with multiple suppliers is a challenge for us, it becomes difficult to reach out, as we are based in another country altogether. the time differences seem to make it tougher in current situations. But due to interaction with you, we are able to get insight into the status of the producers. This is particularly helpful for us, as we do not have an office in India.
2. Had this co-operation not been there, what would you have missed out?
We usually prefer email as the medium of interaction with our supply chain partners. In this case, due to regular interactions with you, much of the information which we require to take action on comes on to us indicatively rather than reading it on emails. This helps us to take immediate action whether be it with our internal team here, suppliers, or event logistics.
3. Any points which you would like to improve from our end so that we could make it more worthwhile to have this interaction.
At the moment we are satisfied with our interactions. But we would like our junior level team as well to interact on our behalf to keep this process going. We would like to continue this practice in the longer term, and with our second line of team members as well so that we continue to get the benefits.”
I do hope if you are one of the retailers or importers, contemplating, if such an exchange would add value to you, my article helps unfold endless possibilities of a lasting relationship with your trusted partner in your importing countries.
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Thanks for your time!