Great importers consistently do the same things in their projects.
Offshore projects that crumble usually happen when the buyer flexes some process flaw muscle.
Not all projects go 100% successful all the time.
We’re human, we make errors.
Frankly, we screw up.
But the importers that consistently bring in good product, without the disasters, have certain internal things in common.
These “intangibles” usually cause the importer to do certain things.
These are intangibles, that are not necessarily taught, come with time.
Some people may naturally have these strengths more than others.
Good importers would fit in many career positions and leadership roles.
What additional moxy sauce has been sprinkled and spread on their bread?
Let’s look at it…
5 Things that Great Importers Do.
Good importers listen to their suppliers. They ask questions of their overseas counterparts. Then, they listen to what’s being said. They don’t get impatient or squirrely when hearing English in a 2nd-language.
Part of listening well, is being able to listen to WHAT’S NOT being said. They pick up on what was missing from the scenario. The characteristic of good listening accompanies being able to accurately fill in a blank. This is critical in your overseas sourcing.
They plan well.
A good importer can see the end of their project from the beginning.
They know to include additional time from what experience shows them.
On the flip side, the erratic importer doesn’t remember past obstacles and tests. The erratic importer plans everything as if problems are impossible. Then when problems happen, they screech out the infamous, “how could this happen!!??”
They keep their emotions in check.
Notice how above I mention the “erratic” importer? The consistently good importers are not driven by their feelings.
They don’t wear their worries on their sleeve.
An importer who is overly concerned transfers those negative emotions to a supplier. A supplier that senses a jumpy, unprofessional importer, also becomes nervous. This flows into the quality of the goods and service coming out of the factory.
The importer that screams bloody murder over a delay will have a factory push goods out too early.
You know, just to shut them up.
Pushing goods out too early lead to incomplete goods.
Ever seen a printed item that didn’t undergo the proper drying process?
They find solutions.
Bad importers fold like $2 suitcases as soon as they hear bad news.
As soon as quality issues rear their ugly head, the novice gets jittery. Jitteriness leads to other problems.
Not great importers. When those who are well-seasoned get a whiff of problems, they know to quickly pivot.
They don’t wait for things to go from bad to worse.
They know to send in a QC team; when to hit the key points.
They stay in frequent enough touch with their supplier, they’ll know when to pull back and implement something else.
And they do all of this, without sacrificing the job.
There’s minimal finger-pointing and blame.
They simply see the goal insight and try a different avenue to reach the end.
They are leaders.
Good importers have moxy. They can get a factory to see and implement their vision.
This may not happen after the first or second order, but it eventually happens.
A good importer, like a good leader is loyal and rewards those employees, factories, logistics companies, that do good work.
They’re always flyin’ around and looking for the next minimal discount or somebody who will speak only pleasant things to them.
Even in offshore manufacturing, there’s necessary unseen elements to get everyone onboard. There’s inspiration, encouragement an values.
It’s as if many people think professional traits are just for the corporate boardroom.
But when it comes to overseas work and sourcing, you can act anyway you want, consequence free…yeah right.
The good importer knows that’s not the case and they uphold domestic and international values in all they do.