When you source products from overseas factories, do you operate differently than how you normally present yourself?

With many importers, it’s like a Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde scenario.

They may import and sell to national brands. They have a pristine image.

They’re knowledgeable in their product area.

Having a social conscience and awareness is of the utmost importance to them….at least that’s what they show.

Perhaps they don’t sell to a brand but ARE THE BRAND.

The market loves the product. It’s gaining national exposure. Millennials love using it and having one in their pocket and maybe 2 at home.

This is the image they portray on the home front.

Socially conscious? You bet

Transparent and aware? For sure. I mean, hey, it’s 2019.

But when they turn around and focus offshore…everything changes.

Earlier I used the Jekyll / Hyde example.

How about Incredible Hulk?

They’re very composed and professional when it comes to anything branded or public.

But when it comes to the overseas’ side, it’s “Hulk Smash.”

Rough processes.

Clumsy in vetting.

To heavy-handed in proceeding without first implementing fail-safe steps.

Pardon the pun, but it’s like bull in a China shop.

The sourcing doesn’t reflect the values of their brand. They actually source product in way that’s contrary to their values.

Imagine you visit a famous brand’s website and it says something like,

‘We’re not very clear on who manufactures our items. We source product quite haphazardly and just get many quotes from vendors. Not really sure if they are the manufacturer or a trade company in between, but as long as it gets done, right?’

No right-minded businessperson would say this. But many act this way.

Do you work with factories that you would be proud to display on your website?

But let’s back up for a moment…do you even know who you work with?

I mean, do you really know?

How about if your brand or investors wanted to tour the factory?

All good?

Or will you have to scramble for some quick fixes or…excuses?

Factories close because of government mandates.

Public relations nightmares happen because buyers didn’t thoroughly vet their vendors.

Source product, communicate, approve, vet as if your brand, your investors and your market are watching.

It’s only going to get more transparent.

Now’s a good time to start.