As an overseas promo item importer (supplier, distributer); you know that unless you work specifically in one material, you will not find one or even a handful of factories that can handle your inquiries and production.
For example; you have a client that is a major alcohol-brand. This brand, whenever they are doing a new campaign, is going to do something different every time. Some successful items may be a re-hash, but for the most part, they want you to pitch a different campaign/theme/item with each new project.
What factory can all inclusively produce polo shirts, backpacks, customized plastic items, USB’s, metal ice buckets and inflatables? Exactly….there isn’t one. For all the items I just listed, you’ll need a minimum of 6 factories; that’s not to mention if the factories outsource their printing, packaging or if there are additional factories for additional material.
What’s the solution to all of this?
Narrow down your production line offerings: Stop offering your clients every item “under the sun.” Narrow down what you offer. Instead of offering 50 different product lines, become an expert in 10.
The negative side of this: next time your buyer wants an item, if you turn them down, they may be snatched up by another “general promo merchandise” supplier.
I wouldn’t let that worry me.
You may have to cut off some branches to save the tree, but the time you invest in solidifying your production line, the more long-term success you can achieve with these lines.
You’ll be known as an industry expert in certain areas.
You’ll lose the wasted time of chasing down new inquiries every time, battling with a new Chinese supplier for every new inquiry and having to start from square one with each new sourcing.