Now more than ever, securing inventory levels and sourcing products has been a challenge, there’s no getting around it. With freight ETA’s and costs in flux, in many cases, it may seem “easier” just to order your promo domestically. While certainly, that’s an option with valid reasoning, for certain products there are significant benefits to ordering factory direct.
What is Factory Direct? Factory Direct is exactly what it sounds like, it’s ordering directly from an overseas product manufacturer to either reduce cost, increase customization capabilities, or both.
When considering a promo distributor, it’s important to understand their experience working factory direct. When ordering factory direct, promotional partners have a wide variety of production capabilities in terms of customization and quality assurance. With the option of ordering product samples (which is highly recommended), you can ensure that the product you order lives up to your branding expectations long before placing your final bulk order. Along with amplified customization capabilities, the primary benefit of ordering factory-direct overseas is experiencing dramatic cost-savings.
Keeping these benefits in mind, ordering factory direct certainly has its fair share of challenges. However, these challenges can be easily overcome with careful planning, even in today’s climate. The primary challenge of ordering factory direct is simply the amount of time that it takes to produce and ship your order. Under normal circumstances, it typically takes between 90-120 days to get your order in hand. Additionally, on most overseas orders there are higher product minimums than many domestic manufacturers, meaning you'll need to order in a more calculated manner to make your product selection worth your while as ordering overseas requires you to order in bulk. When you think bulk, don't view that as a negative, rather, think about it as an opportunity to further your physically branded marketing approach. This provides you with the opportunity to expand your reach at a lower cost per impression (CPI).
When organizations have the order volume to go factory direct, Stran takes a blended approach when it comes to sourcing the requested product. This blended approach means that when you need a product with a quick turnaround, we use domestic suppliers to expedite the process. While that initial need is met domestically, we’re simultaneously going overseas to take advantage of cost savings. After doing so, we present a blended price that integrates both foreign and domestic products. This approach is most effective when clients seek greater cost-savings, however, with highly custom products it becomes challenging to match product consistency. Nevertheless, there is certainly the best course of action of fulfilling your needs and that solution will be identified with the help of your promotional products partner.