When manufacturers, resellers or retailers import goods from countries other than their native country, this practice is known as wholesale imports. These imports can reduce your costs as well as improve your competitive advantage.
Here are 10 winning principles of wholesale imports:
1. Select markets cautiously – When you are importing raw materials from a wholesaler, you must cautiously select the markets in terms of the location, supply chain and warehouses, and import duties, among other factors.
2. Judicious selection of vendors – While assessing markets for wholesale imports, you must evaluate the vendors on parameters like cost, quality and SLAs (Service Level Agreements). Also, businesses may select wholesalers that provide credit and financing options that can help avoid delays during a cash crunch or lack of liquidity.
3. Vendor dependency – Wholesale imports are subject to sociopolitical changes in the country of origin and as such, while formulating the sourcing strategy, you should make sure that you source items from multiple regions and vendors. This will help reduce risk of monopoly of a single vendor or of business falling prey to social and economic turbulence.
4. Perishable goods – Carefully set forth the terms of the importation so that the imported perishable material reaches you in good shape and if doesn’t, you don’t have to pay.
5. Quality assurance – The wholesale importation of goods may be from distant locations and vendors, and assurance of quality of imported goods is indispensable for customer satisfaction.
6. Inventory management – For a manufacturer or reseller, inventory management is a key aspect of wholesale imports. The business must keep a check on its upstream and downstream inventory, and a real-time update of the stock information is important.
7. Warehousing – The location of warehouses is a key aspect of wholesale imports. Based on the route of entry of the imported goods to the country, the warehouses must be set up as close to the ports or shores so that additional transportation costs and overheads can be avoided.
8. Demand forecast – If the importer can forecast when the demand of the goods being imported will shoot up, he can make the purchases when the market is in lean phase, thereby saving money that he would have otherwise spent in the peak season.
9. Alternate arrangement for shipment of heavy goods – Wholesale import of heavy goods could be expensive and in order to cut the freight costs, the businesses may enter into long-term arrangements with shippers, who have the provision of shipping heavy goods.
10. Inventory clean-up – If the importers realize that the imported material may not sell in the near future, especially the perishable goods, it is better to clean up the inventory by selling it off at the cost price.