German TV, ARD informed about the critical situation of retail in Germany due to Corona Crisis.
Here some radio news (in German):
Here some TV news (in German):
Frankly speaking, I was too shy on speaking out my profession. Until now! It felt like an insult for 15 years, maybe even 20 years. The ones on the other end of the line used to say:
Oh! You are an importer.
They did not even say it but that meant:
We have an office everywhere.
We have a good QM-department.
We have better and direct control on the supply chain.
We will save the money and buy without any intermediaries.
We do not need you.
And it seemed they were right. My profession was going down. For at least a decade our kind has been dying. It seemed too easy to write an e-mail to China and ask any factory to make any product and ship it. Everyone could do it.
It was futile to discuss opposing opinions. I still know that I will not be able to cut through such prejudice. I even must admit that many companies performed quite well, at least financially. Until now, probably.
But I still do believe that I am better in service and compliance. And my prices will even be lower in some cases than with direct import. I accumulate order volumes AND accommodate factories at full compliance with customer requirements. I translate not only text but level the cultural gap between buyers and producers. I implement everything the buyer likes and convince the factory owner to love it!
AND I have the means to slow down production, finance during prolonged periods before ROI and store goods, if necessary.
I think that is quite some package to mitigate supply chain risks and even crisis like a Covid-19 pandemic.
So here is my unashamed confession:
I am an importer!
Call me, if you need one.
I will be the one to mitigate your risk, social, environmental or even be it COVID-19.