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Essentials and other hints for successful sourcing

Walter Hay

Legendary Contributor
Speedway Pass
Sep 13, 2014
World citizen
I originally posted this story in my thread: MARKETPLACE Walter Hay’s Sourcing Service , but having realized that few members will ever look at that thread unless they need serious help with product sourcing, I have moved it here.

I believe that considering the principles that I applied in a recent major sourcing project can be of great benefit to those who are personally engaged in product sourcing.

Success Story. I have successfully completed the biggest sourcing project that I have ever undertaken.

Because of the need for confidentiality I can't disclose details, but this story highlights a few things about product sourcing:

  1. Nothing is impossible.
  2. Determination is critical.
  3. It can be necessary to think globally.
  4. All clues and leads must be pursued to the end of their various trails.
  5. Sometimes action must cease temporarily to allow time to digest what has already been discovered.
  6. As in this case, it might prove necessary to bring different manufacturers to the table.
Now for some explanation:

1. This project began with a request to find a product that simply did not exist. I could have just said so, and declined to help, but that doesn't suit my personality. I hope others reading this will take courage to search for even the impossible.

2. There were many frustrations on the way, including lengthy periods without replies to my questions. Without pushing so hard as to be offensive, I had to keep on in pursuit, and like extracting teeth, it took a lot of effort and perseverance.

3. The country most well know as a source of the general product category had regulatory issues that made it highly unlikely that I would succeed there. My best option was to look in other countries.

4. I followed leads that I seriously doubted would be helpful. There were many dead ends, but among the doubtful ones I found some that were very helpful. Some served to educate me in what I didn't know about the intricacies of the product I was searching for.

5. I had made handwritten notes as I went, and with several pages of them I decided to take a break and think closely about all of those notes. A picture emerged, and led to the next course of action which was.....

6. One country alone could not yield success. I had found manufacturers in each of two countries, but neither was capable of manufacturing the product, so I set about wedding the two. It was a rocky romance, but with some excellent help from my sourcing client we brought the deal to consummation.

After successful trials, the first order has been placed, and my client is delighted. I must admit that winning against such formidable odds has made me feel rather pleased with myself, but......

I am hoping that this post will encourage many members to think outside the square and use determination, together with all the help they can find in my AMA and Q&A, as well as my book if they have it, knowing that nothing is impossible.

P.S. My search took me to four continents and countries with vastly differing cultures and manufacturing capabilities. One component required was of a highly technical nature, requiring very sophisticated research facilities and complex manufacturing equipment. I found that product in a developing country. Think outside the square!

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