Many businesses find it difficult to source quality products from India that arrive on time. BHI has American sourcing agents in cities across India to provide clear communication and in-person accountability throughout your supply chain so that you have products you can count on.
Rick had been a buyer for the Floor-covering and Bath categories at a big box retailer in the US for ten years. He’d figured out which products needed to come from India, but frankly, he didn’t want to go on his next trip.
Rick understood why others clamored at the opportunity to visit India - he’d seen the glorious Taj Mahal and enjoyed the beaches of Kerala. But in all of his [short] visits over the years, Rick still hadn’t figured out how to eat rice with his fingers, didn’t enjoy the smell of incense, and didn’t like having to take his shoes off in the factory office.
On the bright side, Rick loved and cherished his Indian suppliers. He’d met their families, and been the humble recipient of the Indian belief of 'atithi devo bhava,' which means, “guest is god.” However, as true as these things were, he still couldn’t pronounce their names correctly. He always needed them to repeat everything twice because he never spent enough time with them to fully grasp their accents. Perhaps most discouraging was that he couldn’t figure out why ‘yes’ sometimes meant ’no’ even though they were honest people.
Rick eventually hired a team of locals to inspect his products, but they would occasionally miss a product flaw simply because they didn’t understand the end use of Rick’s products. They were just there to complete the checklist, and Rick knew that they had a much closer relationship with his supplier than they did with Rick himself.
In short, Rick had experienced all six of the biggest landmines to sourcing in India, and his boss was annoyed that after all these years, Rick still hadn’t fine-tuned their Indian sourcing arm in these categories. The only saving grace was that none of the other buyers worked well with India either.
He knew these cultural struggles had kept him from growing the deep relationship with his Indian suppliers that his business desperately needed and that his heart truly wanted. This was difficult for his Indian counterparts too, who rightly held relationship above all else. Rick
was fearful to consider what it would be like to work with a factory who didn't care deeply about him and his family.
BHI: The Culture Guide
Rick is not real, but he does represent real people and real stories.
Have you been Rick at one point? Are you feeling Rick's pain today?
We believe in a simple solution:
Dual-culture Americans present in India
Cultures think and communicate differently. Neither is 'right' or 'wrong,' only different. We learn the beautiful intricacies of Indian culture so that you (and your suppliers) can minimize
both error and effort. We
want to you to spend more
time dreaming about new products, planning for
growth, and spending
time with your family.
With Americans checking
your products you can
have confidence that
this sourcing agent will:
- Understand your customers
- See products how you would
- Ask the questions you would
ask on the production floor
We do the real-time critical thinking for you and work toward solutions before you even wake up in the West.
If you simply need someone to 'check boxes' for you (no pun intended), you can always save some money by hiring a local inspection team. However,
you also risk making up for it through long video calls, extra trips to India, and maybe even unsellable goods taking up space in your warehouse.
agents are the invaluable,
We go a step deeper than knowing the actual languages of both buyer and supplier by striving to understand the things that 'go without saying' in either culture. If you've already been working internationally, you know that these 'small things' are the sparks to the forest fires of misunderstanding and relational breakdown.
It's all about who you know
Relationships matter. This is true in any culture, but especially in India.
No matter how 'global' the economy becomes or how comfortable everyone is with virtual reality, you can't share a meal with your factory partner on a video call. And sometimes, that's exactly what's needed to move your business forward.
From the other side of the world, maintaining close relationships with your foreign suppliers can be arduous and time consuming. BHI will build deep, trustworthy relationships throughout your supply chain by representing you in India.
An Extension of you
We want to be an extension of your vision, brand, goals, and professionalism so that you can have peace of mind knowing that things will get done the way you need. We’ll help you find, trust, and enjoy relationships with manufacturers that fit your brand so that you can avoid all the potential landmines of sourcing in India.
Your reputation overseas matters, so every cost associated with securing a healthy supply chain is worth it. Let us provide the extra face-time and accountability (and meals) you’ve always wanted with your manufacturing partners.
While everyone wants a quality product at an incredible price point, no one wants to achieve that feat by taking advantage of others. BHI is highly aware of this issue when sourcing products overseas. Creating a fair and safe environment for factory workers is one of the most compelling reasons as to why BHI exists. The on-boarding process for any potential BHI endorsed factory includes a baseline evaluation of the most common social compliance failures. For a factory to be in partnership with BHI, they must comply with these standards.
Our team is involved both in accountability and in helping develop strategies to improve a factory environment that is struggling to meet buyer expectations. Focus is given to the safety of the work area provided, and specifically, to the mitigation of fire risks. Laborer age requirements, appropriate pay, and limitation of work hours are also included in this evaluation. It is critically important that any subcontractors are known as well, in order to accurately understand the operation from beginning to end. By taking the welfare of
each person seriously, BHI believes that a better product is possible, and that supply chain activities can become a vehicle for good in our world.