Small Business Sourcing is Big Business for Sourcing Systems International
October 22, 2018
Jeff Watson’s business is complicated.
“Back in 2010, with the help of some angel funding, I wrote a business plan and started a sourcing-based company.”
But, on mutual terms, things started to go a bit sour.
“Right or wrong, we’ve recently parted ways. I don’t have a bad word to say about them, we just had different views.”
Jeff gained a lot of experience working for his previous company, and decided to apply that knowledge on a new venture.
We believed that we could bring relationship selling to low-cost country sourcing transactions. So, we started our own sourcing company under a very similar model. The only difference is, I own it, not the investors
“During that time, my key project manager and I learned a lot about this industry. We believed that we could bring relationship selling to low-cost country sourcing transactions. So, we started our own sourcing company under a very similar model. The only difference is, I own it, not the investors.”
That sounds a bit complex, but Jeff and his partner knew what they were doing, and were confident in starting something new.
They were in the driver’s seat. Though it started out a bit bumpy, their business got off the ground fairly quickly. It seems miraculous but, let’s face it, they’ve done this before.
“We were so pleased to be able to do what we’ve always done, but on our own terms.”
So, what is Sourcing Systems International?
In With the New
At its core, Jeff’s company helps US businesses source goods internationally.
“The problem that many businesses have to overcome is that their suppliers are so far away. With today’s global markets, your business partners aren’t down the street, they’re across the ocean, and they aren’t coming any closer.”
For businesses large and small, communicating and dealing with international suppliers and manufacturers is necessary to their operations. But, finding and managing these partnerships is difficult, even for established companies.
“So, what we try to do is put myself, my project manager, and some other key people here in the US at the customer’s disposal while maintaining a network of connections around the world. That may include our employees, partner factories, or any one of a variety of different mediums.”
We know metals and plastics, that’s where our partners and relationships are. That’s what we’re good at
Sourcing Systems International works as a kind of middleman between US businesses and global suppliers or vendors. Jeff finds the parts, generally metals and plastics, and sells them in the US.
As he puts it, the hardest part about sourcing overseas is quality of goods and lead time.
“That’s generally how it goes. The longer your supply chains get, the further apart those things are. The onus is on us to manage the process entirely, and have a complete quality management system as well as a lead time management system. That way, the customer isn’t dealing with those two key issues.”
So, businesses let Jeff and his company handle these processes for them. But, it’s not as easy as finding any old supplier. Jeff has to guarantee a quality service.
His company does what it does, and the customers love it. Staying true to yourself is how long-term relationships are established and maintained, especially in small business.
“We have to do our due diligence on the backend, though. We’re the ones guaranteeing the parts, and our customers buy those parts through our offices here in the US. So, things have to be done right.”
Sourcing Systems knows what it’s good at, and knows what it does well. For Jeff, metals and plastics are his market, and that’s where he intends to stay.
“We know what we are, and what we are not. We don’t do textiles, we don’t do wood, no exotic-type base materials. We know metals and plastics, that’s where our partners and relationships are. That’s what we’re good at.”
Jeff has no illusions about his business model. His company does what it does, and the customers love it. Staying true to yourself is how long-term relationships are established and maintained, especially in small business.
Small Business, Global Reach
Sourcing Systems International is at the core of the US economy.
They’re home grown, home operated, and work exclusively with small to medium-sized businesses to make their global operations run smoothly.
“We work in China, India, Hong Kong, and Thailand. The challenges that our customers avoid by working with us, we deal with in our own partnerships.”
Each time Jeff wants to supply a new product, Sourcing Systems has to go through the process of going global all over again. Though they have established relationships, expansion means new connections.
“It takes time to find the right people. Whether that’s manufacturers, quality control teams or employees. It takes patience, and it takes some wins and losses.”
Mistakes happen. Without them, Jeff notes, you won’t have much success. But, having worked at it for a while, they’ve got it pretty well down pat.
Jeff sees and appreciates the value of international manufacturing and supply. But, he also understands the need for someone here at home to bridge the gaps that small businesses just can’t travel over
“We’ve developed a pretty good system here. The people we work with have been our partners for a long time, we know that do a great job. We can trust that they can do what we need done over there.”
In today’s global economy, Jeff sees and appreciates the value of international manufacturing and supply. But, he also understands the need for someone here at home to bridge the gaps that small businesses just can’t travel over.
“We funnel all the payments and issues that come with that process into one point of purchase for our customers. We want to be the guy up the street that you can go to and get quality parts from without all the hassle. We want our structure to reflect that.”
Jeff wanted this easy transaction process for himself. If he could offer a better way for his customers, surely someone could help him pay international suppliers and manufacturers.
Then, the phone rang.
Getting Money Moving
Sourcing Systems International sends a lot of international payments.
“I despised sending bank wires. They take forever, the process of sending is hard, and they’re just so expensive. We paid a massive amount in wire fees and transactional charges to our banks on both sides of the ocean. So, anything we could do to mitigate that, we were gonna explore.”
To Jeff’s surprise, he got a call from a payments provider offering exactly what he was looking for.
“I’m so glad I picked up the phone. Since partnering with Veem, we’ve seen great results. Now, nearly 100% of our payments go through it. Anything we do, Veem’s our first option, Veem’s our second option.”
Sourcing Systems International had finally found what he was looking for. He wasn’t charged for international wires, and the process of payment was worlds better.
Since partnering with Veem, we’ve seen great results. Now, nearly 100% of our payments go through it. Anything we do, Veem’s our first option, Veem’s our second option.
“Once we started using the service, the ease of sending and receiving payments kept us coming back. But, the initial reason for choosing Veem was the cost. We were saving money hand over fist, which meant we could charge our customers less for their products. ”
That’s what Sourcing Systems International strives to do: help small businesses through providing good quality, cost-effective goods. Better payments means they can provide a better service.
Jeff likes to stick to what he knows. But, in doing so, he touches and helps business owners around the country succeed.
Sourcing Systems doesn’t just affect the bottom line. It allows a small business to do what they might never of thought they could: go global.
That’s what we like to see.