With careful planning and the right sourcing partner, these issues may never even arise and the competitive advantages that come from getting it right make the process well worth any risks. Using an expert in the outsourcing field will drastically reduce the pitfalls and even if you do go it alone, there are many ways of ensuring that things run smoothly.

1. Do your homework: shop around for suppliers and ensure that communication won’t be an issue by checking that any potential suppliers have English speaking staff. An outsourcing partner can really help: they will usually have an extensive database of suppliers and products to enable a good match of companies, as well as knowledge and experience of the country you propose to work within.

2. Meet with your chosen supplier to agree clear purchasing specs and parameters. This way, you both have mutually agreed expectations. A good global outsourcing company will have many years of experience in this field and can either represent you or act in an advisory role.

3. Make sure that you are getting a good deal by obtaining several quotes from different suppliers. This is particularly important if you are working with a company based in a country that you have never operated in before as you will need some sort of benchmark to work from.

4. Ensure that you have a clear grasp on the financial situation by checking currency markers regularly. Although you may be powerless to change the financial situation, you will be prepared and avoid any nasty shocks. You may also be able to renegotiate prices to get a more competitive deal. Remember that there may also be significant advantages to buying in the local currency.

5. Sort out the supply chain. Make sure you have factored in transport costs. The procedures and agreements that you apply to a supplier are equally applicable to any company that you use to deliver and store stock. It may make financial sense to warehouse products in UK. Again, make sure you compare the options so you can make the optimum choice.

You could argue that now is not the time to take risks, but sometimes it pays to try something new. Outsourcing is not a quick fix, nor is it the solution for every business, but done well it could make a significant difference to your company. 2009 will be a difficult year for many, so it makes sense to consider all the ways that you can ensure your company’s survival.

If you are interested in finding out more about how global sourcing could benefit your business, visit www.darianglobalsourcing.co.uk or call 01858 433 096