The best expert advise when initiating an import project?
“If possible: Get it right the first time.”
In other words, before contacting a global sourcing manufacturer or a sourcing agent such as Walker International regarding design, development, prototyping and packaging for an invention or a product that is currently produced by a China manufacturer or an offshore manufacturer in another country:
- Have a sample ‘in hand’ of the item(s) of interest or
- Have mechanical drawings, complete with material and measurement specifications or, if possible Auto Cads or similarly formatted engineering drawings
- Estimate the per order, per item order quantity
- Estimate the per item, annual order quantity
- Know your target cost. I.e. that cost upon which you want to base your selling price or your bill of materials cost
Sourcing agents such as Walker International or offshore factories will respond more favorably to inquiries that have addressed such issues as those cited above, than to those inquiries that have not prepared that information beforehand.
Other information that might be useful:
- Be patient. Design, development, prototyping, packaging of new items takes time; usually more time than North American companies are accustomed to assigning for such project timetables.
- Sending samples to a sourcing agent or global manufacturer by means of courier could take one week to send a sample to the manufacturer, and perhaps another week if requesting a sample from the manufacturer. In other words, courier service alone could account for two to four weeks of time.
- Maintain communication with the global supplier. Managers at global sources may speak ‘English’, but that doesn’t mean they understand what you are saying.
Walker International serves as our clients’ ‘subcontracted international trade management division’. We serve as our clients’ translator, and insure that communication between the global source and the client is clear, accurate, timely and effective.
We allow our clients to focus on their core competencies, while Walker acts as their global sourcing agent, including management of design, development, prototyping, packaging, shipment, filing of all Customs documents, delivery to the clients’ destination in the United States, and calculation of landed cost.
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