By: Sebastian Thiele
International sourcing can be an attractive option for many industrial companies to achieve cost advantages and innovative solutions. However, when the customer and the supplier are not in the same country, there will be differences in language, time and culture. Under such circumstances, not every company manages to keep the communication smooth and transparent – an important basis for a successful business.
With our experience in international sourcing since 1982, we can support you with the following solutions:
We enable our customers and producers to receive all required information in real-time and without misunderstandings
With bdp MC, both our customers and producers can communicate directly in their respective native languages. Thus, we do not only overcome the language barrier but also minimize the risk of misunderstanding due to different ways of thinking. Even if our customers source internationally with us, they can be sure that communication is transparent and free of misunderstandings.
Case study 1: We are producing machine components for a German customer in the machinery industry. Last year, we started the first cooperation. The customer chose us because of our competitive price for the inquiry. The producer for this project is in China, and because this is the first project between our companies, the customer was cautious about product quality. The main challenge with these components is that some of them are quite old, and there is no longer a digital drawing. In addition, the specifications in terms of dimensions and tolerances were no longer complete. Thus, after the kick-off meeting and project start, we initially focused on analyzing the drawings closely and creating 3D models for the parts. We shared with the customer every development step, feedback, and solution we received from the manufacturer to check with him directly and ensure our understanding of all points matched. As a result, the customer realized that we are looking for solutions for a successful project together with him and are very serious about accomplishing the parts. Therefore, we could gain more and more of the customers’ trust, and now we have started the first serial production.
We check the background information and competencies of the producer for our customers and carry out the audit as well as quality inspections on site
Our international setup with locations in Europe and China allows us to overcome distances in location, language, and time to enable constant communication and minimize risks from the beginning.
Case study 2: We deliver safety-relevant valve components for a German customer. To ensure tightness, the requirements for dimensional accuracy are even stricter than in the automotive industry. The producer is located in China. During the entire development and subsequent production phase, our Purchasing and QA colleagues in China are weekly at the producer plant to ensure that the producer understands the customer’s requirements and that appropriate implementation is carried out. It was also a matter of communicating suggestions and questions from the producer to the customer so that the best solution could be found together. We are currently supplying this customer in series production. The customer has expressed his confidence in us and is now placing further production orders with us.
Regular customer visits to strengthen the bond with the customer and find better solutions
Not only producers but also customers need to be regularly visited on-site, to solve different challenges together. Recently, due to COVID-19, phone calls and video conferences are the preferred way to go. However, if there are technical or quality-related issues, and if the circumstances allow, a personal visit will be helpful and practical to clarify any doubts so that all parties can work together on a solution. Our sales teams in Germany and Spain take care of local customers personally.
Case study 3: We deliver diverse kinds of products for a Spanish customer in the machinery industry with a wide variety of product types. Thus, it was crucial to clarify the characteristics and requirements for each product, which is the only way we can ensure that the producer has the right guideline for producing such a great variety. Especially in the development and sampling phase, our sales colleagues in Spain intensively supported the customer during on-site visits. Communication with the customer is, on the one hand, about understanding the customer’s requirements to make sure that we produce accordingly. On the other hand, however, there are requirements in the drawings which cannot be achieved or controlled stably in series production. These issues need more intensive communication with the customer in order to find the best compromise solution that will allow the requirements to be met and production to be stable. bdp established long-term cooperation with this customer. Now, we have been delivering products to him for more than 20 years.