The first half of 2020 has become unpredictable for the global economy. The volume of foreign trade operations has decreased, and logistics schemes have been changed. Manufacturers, adapting to the situation, strive to open alternative markets and expand their delivery capabilities to new destinations in the shortest possible time.
The best way to develop a new market involves a set of carefully planned steps: opening a local office, building a logistics chain, and confirming the products in local demand. In the face of fierce competition, the issue of efficiency becomes critical: a business must quickly assess market capacity and identify future customers.
A foreign manufacturer’s key task to market and sell finished products. By outsourcing other business functions to local experts, foreign companies can reduce risks and costs and focus on marketing and business development. Foreign trade outsourcing helps to minimize the time and financial costs of conducting international economic activities.
It may seem like foreign trade is all about correctly registering customs documentation. According to Tatyana Gaevskaya, Head of the Trade and Contract Logistics Department at AsstrA, companies outsource foreign trade for many reasons, not just to handle customs clearance and local nuances in a given country. These reasons include mastering the specific challenges of local procurement and cargo transportation processes, understanding infrastructure, and taking advantage of proven experience, competent staff, and an ability to get things done in the local business environment.
"We completed one comprehensive project for a foreign luxury cosmetics company entering the Russian market. After a detailed review conducted by AsstrA experts, the client received a project roadmap that included a proposed import scheme and a Russian certification and distribution plan. Warehouse storage was also the responsibility of AsstrA. The team also identified a temperature-controlled warehouse where AsstrA experts could oversee the work of warehouse staff. The AsstrA team held talks with Russian companies. As a result of the meetings, we managed to achieve the main goal of concluding supply contracts denominated in Russian rubles," Tatyana Gaevskaya shared regarding the details of the project.
After preliminary clearance and approvals from the client, the first import delivery took place. The cargo was delivered from the Swiss city of Vevey to the warehouse in Klyazma, near Moscow. The necessary customs procedures were carried out in Smolensk.
From the warehouse, the products were sent in small batches for distribution to Moscow, Yekaterinburg, and Saint Petersburg.
The project lasted two years. Every month, the client received warehouse and financial reports from the AsstrA Project Manager and tracked how sales were progressing. After evaluating their performance on the Russian market, the customer decided to open their own representative office. For helping to establish effective business processes through successful cooperation, the client gave the AsstrA project team a letter of thanks.
"As an outsourced foreign trade partner, you become a client’s eyes and hands in a new market. In this project, we even managed to take on a new role. We tried out the role of recruiters and helped the client find and hire employees, " adds Tatyana Gayevskaya.