So you want to source from foreign countries?

March 24th, 2011

My first question might be why. And secondarily have you exhausted all local sources of supply for the products you wish to source?

The idea is that you hope this will allow you to compete with larger companies that have been sourcing lower cost products from these regions for years. So how can you catch up in a much shorter period of time?

If you’re dead set on moving forward and adding this strategy to your tool kit, the first and maybe most important step is to make sure you are working with a quality e-procurement solutions provider that should already have relationships in place with agents, 3PL’s and other companies that can manage much of this process for you and at a fraction of the cost of doing it yourself.

The National Customs Brokers and Forwarders Association of America can put you in touch with customs brokers and freight forwarders who can help you import your goods. Many of them offer informational websites that contain what is required in order to find the right customs broker or freight forwarder for your shipments. Your e-procurement solutions provider can also help you manage this process with third party logistics providers or 3PL’s in areas like ocean bound freight and national and local delivery and distribution that you may not have any experience in.

Companies can also visit the following website  (American Association of Port Authorities) for assistance with the technical aspects of the logistics industry including directories of custom brokers and freight forwarders.

This process is fraught with risk, but for growing companies that plan properly and use the right resources, there is profit to be made.

We appreciate and look forward to your comments.

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