How to choose an Overseas Vendor?
Follow these 6 tips
Choosing an overseas vendor to handle your printing and packaging projects can be an overwhelming exercise. In this blog we’ll provide 6 tips to help you evaluate overseas vendors.
1. Identify what’s most important to you
First off, all vendors are going to have the same standard promises. Anyone can make promises, but you want to choose a vendor with strengths aligned to what is most important to you.
Late with a deadline? Speed might be your most pressing need.
First project? Experienced print and packaging consultants can be a lifesaver.
A repeat print run? Quality could be your #1 concern.
Identify your show stoppers and keep this in mind as you shortlist vendors.
2. Submit three requests for a quote
It’s always best practice to obtain three quotes before making a decision on a new vendor. Based on your research and referrals from industry influencers and your network, shortlist the top three vendors.
3. Evaluate apples to apples
Next make sure you are comparing apples to apples. Not all quotes can be compared equally. It’s important to understand what items are included (and not included) in your quotes. Be wary of the fine print and get clarification on inclusions and exclusions.
Here are 5 common areas that vary across overseas vendors and can significantly effect price, quality and timing.
4. Give higher weighting to your show stoppers
What value do you place on peace-of-mind? Quality? Price? Communications?
Evaluate your quotes based on:
• How well the vendor understands your project
• How well they communicate with you (poor English can be a red flag)
Vendors who are specific about the type of artwork needed and upfront about timelines and constraints show professionalism and commitment to meeting your expectations. For example, when responding to quotes early in the new year, MCRL is upfront about factories shutting down for two weeks in February during Chinese New Year.
5. Capture strength and weaknesses
Every vendor has their strengths and weaknesses. Most publishers/buyers want a reliable, experienced vendor who can save them significant time and worry.
You need to feel confident that your print and packaging project will get done in the time frame you need it, without a lot of hassle.
Price aside, it’s better to get things right the first time than waste time fixing a problem. What you save with the cheapest vendor may not be worth the cost. At MCRL Overseas Group, we focus on customer service and quality.
6. Connect with vendors directly before making a decision
Call or send each vendor a question related to the quote. Their responsiveness and quality of answer is a good indication of the type of customer service you are likely to receive. We recommend personally calling each vendor. You will be working alongside this company so you want to ensure a good working relationship with positive rapport from the outset.
Narrowing down your needs and exercising a bit of caution will ensure you choose a partner who delivers the quality you expect, on time and within budget. Add MCRL Overseas Group to your preferred list of vendors.