Vendor Spotlight--How to Make a Successful Match in Europe (841
Just as in marriage, trust plays a critical part in the success of the relationship, particularly when your partner is thousands of miles away. And when you employ a European partner you are essentially outsourcing the care of your customer. So it's more important than ever to facilitate ease of communication.
Narrow the field
Once you have selected a list of potential partners, a comparison highlighting the pros and cons of each of their businesses will help you narrow the search. As with selecting any partner, its position and relationship within the marketplace of a given country are key, and will identify potential cost savings and any opportunities to build other business relationships.
Ease of communication is a very important factor in supporting the effectiveness of business practices. Complementary competencies, cultures and other "soft" issues may prove essential to a successful partnership. For example, if you've selected a partner, and further down the road discover you don't a share common business interest and there is no "gel" in the partnership, your business will suffer.
You also will want to investigate the scalability of a potential partner. Will it grow with you? For example, if you are using the United Kingdom as a launchpad to mainland Europe, can a U.K.-based partner support a Pan-European operation?
What's more, is it keeping up with the latest technology and keeping abreast of local legislation and regulatory issues?
Trading in the United States is very different than trading in Europe. As such, it is important to visit the location of a potential partner. Seeing is believing—you need to take a look and analyze its facilities to ensure it can handle your capacity.
Get a feel for its location within Europe and the transport infrastructure it has in place. For example, is it located beside a port? Is there access to an international airport? These are important aspects you need to consider.