Research and Sourcing

Effective Product Research and Sourcing

With the advent of the internet, information is literally at your fingertips. Product information and user feedback are readily available. The problem is not so much the lack of information but rather information overload.  More and more, clients are confused as to which website to trust and determine what information is relevant, current and accurate.

What is needed is a strategy or a process that can yield the desired results after the research. It is important to recognize that there is no “one-size-fits-all” strategy. GetFeetWet offers two research and sourcing strategies:

   1) GetFeetWet Product Sourcing Strategy 
GetFeetWet Fast-Track Sourcing Strategy

GetFeetWet Product Sourcing Strategy 

For projects with implementation dates of 2 weeks or more, clients can adopt the standard GetFeetWet Product Sourcing Strategy that focuses on maximum options, cost effective solutions and hands-on research and sourcing.

Step 1

General Research: Talk to associates, friends and professionals about your vision or requirements and ask for some recommendations. You can also visit trade forums but bear in mind that there are some members in forums that have hidden agenda and their opinions maybe skewed by their agenda or business relationships. Also, it is a known fact that product feedback are negatively skewed since a satisfied client is not as motivated to post his positive experience versus a poster who has an axe to grind after a bad experience. Quality and not quantity of posts should be the focus.

Step 2

Product Research: Research the features and specifications  of product/s identified in Step 1  at the manufacturer website where the latest and most detailed information about the product can be found. Most dealer websites only provide a brief description of a product in their catalog due to the large number of products the catalog. The larger the catalog, the more resources are required to keep the product information current. Even with the unlimited resources available, there will always be a lag between new information from the manufacturer and information reflected on dealer websites. 

We also highly recommend calling the manufacturer technical support if information on the manufacturer website is not sufficient to answer all your questions about a product. If manufacturer technical support is not easily accessible, Step 4 will be able to provide the answers you need using GetFeetWet resources and experience.

Step 3

Pricing and Order Fulfillment Research: Research product pricing and availability using local as well as internet dealers. Get referrals from associates and friends.  Always remember that the lowest price should not be the primary criterion when selecting a vendor. Consider years-in-business, commercial footprint, type of operation, trade reputation, staff technical expertise, order fulfillment track record and trade referrals as additional criteria.

Finally, consider that most successful sourcing relationships are based on mutual respect and  support.  Clients should support the business of the sourcing vendor who spends time and resources to provide the research and information that the client seeks. It is in the best interest of the client that the sourcing vendor is on a position to continue to provide the needed service. It is fair to expect competitive pricing from a sourcing vendor but it is not prudent or ethical to make a purchasing decision based purely on the lowest price available without regard to resources expended by the sourcing vendor to aid the client’s research.

Step 4

Research Validation: Validate your research with GetFeetWet Navigation. We will evaluate your requirements and provide an impartial analysis of the solution you came up with. Our opinion is not influenced by profit as pricing is programmatically set across-the-board by a pricing algorithm that based in manufacturer cost plus transaction fees (invoice cost). Neither is GetFeetWet solutions influence by product availability as we have an exclusive network of manufacturers and distributors that has a combined available inventory second to none.

As a matter of policy, we always explain why one solution is preferred versus another. It is imperative that the client fully understands not only features discovered in Step 2 but also the limitations of the solution as derived from experience dealing with the product.

GetFeetWet Fast-Track Sourcing Strategy

Timing requirements may dictate that the leisurely pace of our GetFeetWet Product Sourcing Strategy may not be the best strategy for time sensitive projects. For these projects, the GetFeetWet Fast-Track Sourcing Strategy is more appropriate given the circumstances.  

For GetFeetWet Fast-Track Sourcing Strategy to work the client has to rely more on GetFeetWet staff expertise and resources to evaluate their requirements and for GetFeetWet to deliver the solution needed. Fast-Track Sourcing Strategy is a popular strategy among clients with order history with GetFeetWet. Not all projects can qualify for GetFeetWet Fast-Track Sourcing.

Fast-Track Sourcing requirements.

    1) Orders must be completed within 3 business days from the time the case is opened.
   2) Client has verifiable address and contact information.
   3) Client has no history of abandoned GetFeetWet Fast-Track Sourcing case.

Features of the GetFeetWet Fast-Track Sourcing Strategy :

 1) Dedicated Technical Representative: With GetFeetWet Fast-Track Sourcing Strategy, a case number is assigned to project and a dedicated technical representative is assigned the case.

2) Locked-in Quotes plus Confirmed Allocated Inventory: Quotes will be provided with locked-in pricing and confirmed inventory allocation.

3) One-Hour Response Threshold: Client can send emails referencing the case number which is monitored not only by the assigned technical representative but also by GetFeetWet case managers that ensure that the case emails are acted upon within a one hour threshold. 

4) Hotlines: Fast-Track clients are also provided a pair of hot lines:
    Office Direct Line – M-F
    Mobile Phone –  7-Days 7AM to 7PM Pacific standard time.

5) Managed Timely Shipping: Packages will be delivered to wherever needed in a timely manner. GetFeetWet will handle all shipping arrangements as the project may require including Next-Day Service. Inquire about FREE Shipping.

6) Expanded Network Sourcing: GetFeetWet has the largest sourcing network of manufacturers and distributors. For GetFeetWet Fast-Track Sourcing, GetFeetWet will also tap  2nd and 3rd tier sourcing partners that will further expand product sourcing options. Note: 2nd and 3rd tier sourcing partners consists of an additional 20 distributors that have not made it as 1st tier distributor due to higher product pricing or inconsistent inventory policies.

To Open a GetFeetWet Fast-Track Case:

1)     eMail:
Call Fast-Track Case Hotline: 805 531-9609