The global marketplace can offer a multitude of opportunities for manufacturers who are looking to expand their operations. The benefits of exporting globally can look so good from perspective, that many companies, small and large start investing in international exporting and everything that comes with it. However, as with any opportunity, comes difficulty.
Manufacturers will have to face a series of challenges of exporting globally and it helps to know what to expect in the first place. From the logistics to unforeseen, “abstract” difficulties, exporting globally can be a tough, long highway, full of potholes and unknown turns. Let’s look at the 7 most common difficulties of exporting globally for manufacturers.
This is the first thing that might come to mind to every manufacturer who wants to start exporting globally. It’s easy to imagine a dozen ways in which things can go wrong, from damage, loss, theft, late arrivals, wrong place arrivals and so on.
In this case you need a solid logistical planning to cover all these possible difficulties and problems. One good idea would be to partner up with a logistics partner that is familiar with the rules and regulations of the place you’re exporting to, so you won’t walk on uncharted territory from the first.
Political and economical environment
For manufacturers, the most important climates to follow are the political and economical ones. For example, in these unsettling times following the COVID-19 pandemic, The World Trade Organization reports that 80 countries and customs territories have introduced a certain kind of prohibition or restriction regarding exports.
Even in “normal times”, a manufacturer has to look at the political climate of the country where it’s planning to export to. If it’s not a stable enough political climate, then it could negatively influence the business operations or consumer purchasing behaviours, it could lead to new sudden import restrictions, taxes and so on.
Different laws and legal procedures
Every other country will present a different infrastructure, its specific trading shortcomings and financing procedures. Unexpected costs resulting from these might appear along the way and a manufacturer needs to take them into account. For example, a manufacturer should be prepared for any case of disagreements in interest rate fluctuations or of a foreign customer refusing to pay.Tackling these difficulties needs to be done under that country’s specific laws and legalities.
Longer pay back periods
A manufacturing company should also be prepared to cover longer pay back periods and extra personnel travelling to market the product and so on. The extra costs could also extend to developing new promotional materials and a different kind of marketing strategy.
Intellectual property theft and dealing with copy-cats
The copyright rules and regulations are not the same in every country and this fact could prove one really serious risk of exporting globally.Your intellectual property might be what gives your product that competitive edge. In order for it to remain an asset for the country you’re exporting to, it needs to be unique. That is why manufacturer will need some strong attorneys on the IP laws and regulations and a pretty solid procedure in place for these cases.
Not every country is the same. For example, China is one really shaky country when it comes to IP laws. They have a very fragile framework in cases of copyright violations and it is quite hard to navigate it.
Different culture, history and even language is a difficulty of exporting globally
We were talking about the political and economical environment, but the social climate is maybe even a more important factor that can decide the success or failure of a manufacturer’s global exporting activity.
A safe strategy of entering a specific market is to have a diverse workforce, with team members who are familiar with the culture and social background of that specific country. They need to be knowledgeable of the different customs and traditions in that country, in order to avoid foolish mistakes and even insulting the potential partners.
Business culture is a whole new thing in every country and it has deep social and historical roots. In order to successfully navigate it, without risks, a manufacturer will need a team of employees who speak the language, are well-versed in the local culture, customs and even commercial taboos.
Time is one of the 7 difficulties of exporting globally that it’s always been overlooked
Starting exporting globally is another thing on a manufacturer’s plate. Unless he has found some way of slowing time to his advantage, then it will be very hard to handle another kind of operation. To make time work for you, as a manufacturer, you need a good team, well versed in the global exports, who can work independently and who could be trusted. They’re the “time machine” to being able to manage them all.
So, in the end, it all comes down to the people in your team and how they can help you, as a manufacturer, get over any difficulty and establishing a serious and profitable global exporting activity.