It seems like ‘Made in China’ is branded on just about everything we buy these days. From clothing, to electronics to furniture – so much of the manufacturing process is being conducted outside of Canada. And, while I’m not opposed to outsourcing, I don’t believe it’s the best solution for every small business.
Just ask Ricky Pacheco – Founder of Pop49 – a Mississauga based company that provides signs, point of purchase materials, and other promotional items for a variety of businesses. “99% of what we make is sourced from Canadian suppliers,” he said. “We support a lot of small businesses in Mississauga, and if we can’t find a small business to use here, we’ll expand our search to the GTA.” Ricky noted that he will use a Canadian company wherever possible, and he will only outsource to the US or China when a Canadian supplier does not exist.
Just as I was about to praise him for his dedication, Ricky insisted that his strategy isn’t all altruistic. “Logistically it just makes more sense. We have a lot of customers who need things in a rush and if we buy everything locally we have a lot more control over the final product.” This is understandable since there are a lot of risks with using international suppliers such as geopolitical instability, inadequate vendor capabilities, and decreased managerial control over things like product quality and delivery timing. For small businesses whose livelihood’s depend on exceeding the needs of their clients; the risks simply aren’t worth it.
Not only is it important to meet and exceed the needs of your client as a small business, but it’s also important to build relationships with them as well. “By maintaining control over our product we’ve built trust with our clients who know we always deliver on time and under budget,” said Ricky.
Meeting your obligations can help you build a reputation for being reliable. Being reliable and building trust with your customers can also help you get more repeat and referral business. As the 80/20 rule states, 80% of your business comes from 20% of your customers, so keep your current customers happy.
In the end it’s up to you to decide whether or not outsourcing is the right decision for your small business. But, before you do business with a company located across the Globe, you must consider whether or not the benefits outweigh the potential risks. Make your decision carefully as the future of your business may depend on it.
For more information about Pop49 or custom designed point of purchase materials please visit www.pop49.com.