With coronavirus disrupting supply chains and the economy in general, it is now more important than ever that fastener distributors secure their supply chains as much as possible.
According to a survey done by the National Association of Manufacturers, approx. 78 % of OEMs anticipate a financial impact and 35% of OEMs have already experienced supply chain issues due to the crisis.
So, what can you do to help sure up your supply chain for your customers?
Add Eurolink Fastener Supply Service to your vendor base! Unlike my "Subscribe to Eurolink's BLOG" CTA above, I cannot make a "Call to Action" button for adding us to your vendor base... not yet anyways... but seriously, hear me out.
I know this reads like it's setting up to be a cheesy sales pitch, and to be honest, maybe it is a bit, but I think you'll find that I also make some points worth considering. The reasons that I titled the blog so vaguely and the headers below as "Importing Distributors can help..." and not "Eurolink can help..." is because whether or not you use Eurolink specifically, I believe our company or one of our competitors, in general, is a vital card to have in your back pocket... in other words, there's tremendous value to our our overall niche, especially in the current COVID-19 situation.
Eurolink is the best though... 😏
I recently read “A ‘Now, Next, Later' Approach for Dealing with Pandemic Challenges” by Kate Crowley and Jeff Jorge (read here: https://www.areadevelopment.com/covid-19-response/Q2-2020/now-next-later-approach-for-dealing-pandemic-challenges.shtml). This article does a good job of explaining what distributors need to focus on now (i.e. immediately, 0-2 months), next (i.e. for the mid-term, hopefully only 2-6 months) and later (i.e. long-term, 6 months+) to survive and thrive in the COVID-19 and post-COVID-19 era.
I’m going to break it down for you from the perspective of the obvious value that an importing distributor, like Eurolink Fastener Supply Service, can create for your organization during this time.
Importing Distributors can help NOW!
Imagine that you have a lemonade stand and there is an Aldi grocery store down the street that you usually walk to and buy your lemons. Unfortunately, you go to the Aldi and they are out of lemons, so you ask your mom to go get lemons for you. She can drive, so she goes to the local Ingles and buys them for you. They are more expensive than usual, but at least you are able to keep your stand running and, though your margin may be less, you keep your customers happy and cash flow incoming.
We are your mom…
Eurolink Fastener Supply Service is an importing distributor. This means that we are more of a service provider than anything, in that we provide the service of sourcing metric fasteners from master stocking distributors throughout Europe and handle the hassles associated with buying and importing from overseas vendors.
With access to over 100,000 C-class parts all over Europe, in steel, stainless steel, plastic, brass, etc., Eurolink has some serious product depth to source from and we can get them stateside pretty quickly for a fraction of the usual international air freight costs.
You may be asking now: Well, why would Europe be sitting on excess stock? Wouldn’t they be experiencing the same issues we are in this regard?
Well, yes and no. Europe is certainly experiencing the same supply chain issues, but first and foremost, remember, we specialize in METRIC fasteners. There is generally an abundance of metric fasteners in Europe, whereas that abundance generally lacks in the U.S., especially for DIN and ISO fasteners particularly, because of the vast array of standards that are used in the U.S. and the abundance of imperial fasteners in the U.S.
Also, due to the situation unfolding as it did, there’s a greater abundance of fasteners in Europe than usual (at least at the start of this crisis, you can read the “how and why” to that in one of my older blog posts here: https://blog.eurolinkfss.com/import-editorial-week-8-2020)
So, let’s keep your customers happy and that cash flow coming in NOW.
Importing Distributors can help NEXT!
It costs money to keep stock on the shelf and it’s an investment to buy very large quantities of items to put into stock. With some master stocking distributors already reporting declines of 20-40% in April, the COVID-19 crisis dragging on and the corresponding economic uncertainty, with many analysts suggesting the economic recovery will take significantly longer than most people originally predicted, these distributors can look to reduce their risks by reducing the stock they keep on hand and leaning on a distributor like Eurolink.
Eurolink can bring it in as you need it via air freight or, if you have been planning well, but you want to reduce your risks, our sea freight options could be great for you! With our sea freight from Europe only taking about 6-10 weeks (as opposed to the 20+ weeks often seen from Asia), we can bring in items at much lower prices than air freight, get them in timely manner and without the investment in large quantities often necessitated by importing from Asia.
I’d suggest that Eurolink has mastered the niche necessary for helping stocking distributors during the “Next” phase
Importing Distributors can help LATER!
As the economy recovers, Eurolink Fastener Supply Service, will continue to be there to meet your hard-to-find metric fastener needs. This article is not to suggest that Eurolink is going to compete with some of the big guys with stock sitting on their shelves in the U.S. or even looking to compete with such companies. That’s not what we do, rather that’s often who we serve.
What I am suggesting is that we are a great option for distributors scrambling to find parts now during disrupted supply chain issues and for distributors looking to balance risk and costs as they navigate the next phase of recovery amidst economic uncertainty.
By the time later comes around, i.e. when the economy is clearly on its way to full recovery, it will obviously make sense for master stocking distributors to bring in parts they know they’ll use and therefore want to stock in advance through their usual supply chains, but I also think it is obvious that building a solid relationship with an importing distributor can be a saving grace for those times when things get tough. You can think of Eurolink as your “ace in the hole” for the short-term, mid-term and long-term emergencies!
About the author:
London Penland, ex-teacher, tutor and educational non-profit leader and current business development director for Eurolink Fastener Supply Service and Social Chair/Educational Director for Young Fastener Professionals, empowers sales reps, purchasing agents and sourcing agents with researched industry-specific educational videos and articles. Click here https://eurolinkfss.com/vlog/ to see all of London’s VLOGs and gain access to download his lesson plans.