If you are considering venturing into global sourcing without the help of consultants such as Darian here are some things to bear in mind…
Like any business practice, global sourcing has its pitfalls and, if done badly, could actually damage your reliability and reputation. Before launching into the process as the answer to all your problems, take some time to consider what could go wrong. If you are prepared, you will be better equipped to handle any hiccups that occur along the way.
Make the right choice
Your choice of supplier is key. Taking on an unreliable supplier could be disastrous, but choosing a good supplier in an unfamiliar country is be a bit like looking for a needle in a haystack. How do you know that their prices are competitive? What mechanisms do you have in place for monitoring quality? How do you know that they are reliable? All these questions are more difficult to answer when you are operating in an unfamiliar environment.
Take control of the logistics
You also need to have a firm grasp on logistics: if goods do not arrive on time, production stops. This is more difficult to manage from thousands of miles away, whilst issues with quality can be expensive to sort out if a member of staff has to travel to resolve them.
Speak their language
Good communication is essential to the success of any project and in countries where English is not the first language, communication problems occur all too often. In addition, many companies fail to take into account cultural and business differences which can seriously impact on a working relationship.
The money market
Currency fluctuations can make the difference between a healthy profit and a disastrous loss. The exchange rate is particularly volatile at the moment so ensure that this is taken into account when doing your sums.