Flip or Flop! Is your China sourcing program an investment or liability?
January 30, 2017
One of my favorite things to do each week with my youngest daughter, Jayla Samantha is watch a couple of shows on our favorite network, HGTV. Whether it’s being inspired by the designing insights of Joanna Gaines in Fixer Upper, or laugh to the fun personalities of twin brothers Jonathan and Drew Scott (her favorite twin) as they help couples find, buy and transform extreme fixer-uppers into the ultimate dream home in Property Brothers. But the show that caught my attention recently is Flip or Flop. Husband and wife house flipping team Tarek and Christina have viewers wondering if they’ve made the right decision purchasing dilapidated properties for cash, sometimes sight unseen, and then renovate and flip them for resale. Will they Flip or Flop? Will they be successful?
So, what does any of this have to do with importers who have a good China sourcing program? The system. It’s the system and processes that Tarek and Christina use that delivers success no matter what the house or the circumstances. And every time they stray away from the system, they pay for it and either flop or make less money than they should have.
Most importers that I speak to on a daily basis have a pretty good China sourcing programs in place. They are experienced, they’ve been buying from China for 5, 10, sometimes over 20 years! And they believe that “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!” The problem is, it often breaks. And when it does, importers don’t blame the system, they blame the situation.
But if they had a good system, more specifically a good China sourcing management system, one that paid for itself many times over and delivered for them in a predictable and repeatable way, they would most likely not encounter these situations and their business would perform that much better.
There are tools to check if a management system works optimally, such as the Management Check Up, and I have also covered the subject in a previous blog: How Do You Know How Good You Are? In fact, many importers know what to do, but it is often hard to execute on that knowledge. In other words, how to do it.
So you have a system to efficiently buy from China. You have invested time, effort, and money and you know how to develop it and fine tune your China sourcing. You understand what it takes, you are confident your system will deliver optimal pricing and quality. Is your system in place? Is it working? Flip or Flop?
I would love to hear from you about your China sourcing program. Leave us your feedback in the comments below!
By Guerschom Francois