This is my way to China (part 2)

    I continue the story of my journey to China. For those who missed Part 1 , I recommend starting with it.

    In the process of establishing a business, it seemed to us that working with well-known manufacturers is the reliability in business for many years. But very soon the following happened: in the process of growth, we began to market brands of various consumables that we did not own. Of course, we constantly tried to get the coveted exclusive contract, but the suppliers didn’t really meet us.

    The arguments for the refusal were different: both the presence of “older” customers in Russia and, consequently, the reluctance to lose them when concluding an exclusive contract with us, and our inability to choose their entire range of products, and of course, the monthly volume of purchases. Here I will dwell in more detail.

    The fact is that when we started supplying supplies from a South Korean company, in Russia only one company from Vladivostok cooperated with them. When, one year after the start of cooperation, we reached the volume of purchases of products in the amount of 60,000 kilograms per year - we posed the question with an edge: either give us an exclusive one or we will stop cooperating.

    As a result of long negotiations with the Koreans (they even flew to Moscow for this), we were asked to sign a contract for a purchase volume of 240,000 kilograms per year! At the same time, they allocated us territory from Novosibirsk to Kaliningrad. And they also refused responsibility for possible deliveries of products from the Vladivostok company to our territory! Here we need a pause to comprehend the whole essence of this proposal ...

    Of course, we have refused this "SUPER contract".

    I want to note that the Korean partners did not sit still, idly by, while we “untwisted” their brand in Russia, in the hope of soon receiving the coveted exclusive. As it soon became clear - behind us, but on our shoulders they pushed their products wherever possible. Including our customers. Some, the most active, successfully “caught the wave” at that moment.

    And here's why: in order to be an interesting supplier for a wide range of consumers, you need to constantly keep a large assortment of products in stock, and at least a three-month supply based on average monthly sales. Otherwise, there will be gaps in the assortment and, as a consequence, a decline in customer interest. After all, they love to have EVERYTHING at the warehouse and ONLY for them. And in principle, they are right. But to do this without serious investments is very difficult.

    So, some of our clients “knocked” directly to the Koreans and received approval for cooperation. But since they were not able to buy a 20-foot container at once, they took the products in small batches and delivered them with a "collection" to Moscow. It turned out longer in time than the “twenty”, but for the price, they won an order of magnitude. But we bought from the manufacturer only the most popular series, but bought the rest of the assortment as necessary from us. It turned out very conveniently, but only for them. And we lost part of the market due to the fact that Korean partners began to make shipments past us.

    When they found out about this, there was no limit to our indignation. But, realizing that we don’t have the right to “cut hot”, we were forced to look for a way out of this situation. An urgent solution was demanded by the most difficult question: how to replace this type of product in its “matrix”, if you stop cooperating with a Korean manufacturer?

    Of course, we found a way out. I will talk about him in the next post .

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