Importing Issues in a Growing Company How Pauline helped to rationalise the company's operations infrastructure
One of my clients is a family business spanning two generations. They were successfully importing and distributing toddler toys but knew that they could do more.
The business purchased manufactured goods from the UK and overseas to sell in the UK, Netherlands and France. They also had a large market in Spain and were looking to expand into other emerging markets with interest in Latin America as their products were already packaged in Spanish.
They didn’t know whether to invest in their warehousing and logistics or outsource those departments. With my help they relocated 60% of their business to the Netherlands ahead of Brexit to try and match their European market demand. They retained the rest of the business in the UK as it was manageable for the key team and it provided in-house sample checks to ensure consistent quality from the overseas suppliers.
They asked me to support them with their financing application and supply chain strategy as their business had rapidly grown in the last two years.
I led on reviews of alternative suppliers of toys in the UK and Asia; Bill of Material (BOM) costs, quality control, certifications, minimum order quantities (MOQs), lead-time, their returns policy and testimonials from existing customers.
I had travelled extensively to China on past assignments and built up a large network in-country and supplier relationships. The company now purchases from contacts I provided them with in China as well as the UK and Spain.
I also organised their Foreign Exchange (FX) purchasing to minimise costs and ensure the best Foreign Exchange rates were used rather than only utilising on the spot purchase rates from their bank.
Their inbound freight was causing the company issues because they were waiting for their suppliers to completely fill a container before shipping it. I instigated shared inbound freight (less than container load). This freed up cash within the company as they could pay for their stock as and when required which meant there was less capital tied up in purchasing lines. It also enabled the company to operate on more of a Just in Time (JIT) basis which reduced the amount of time that their clients had to wait for orders to be fulfilled. It also meant that their logistics hub had a steadier workflow rather than an all or nothing situation.
I introduced the company to my contacts in South America for a possible new market for their toys. The initial consultation lasted for several months on a part-time basis and there’s on-going support regarding the new markets.