Over the last couple of days I have been learning many things about the global economy. At BETT 2013 I talked to a company who make sensors for education Globisens they manufacture the LABDISC a really fantastic product for use in schools to log a variety of data from Ph levels to humidity and much more. I liked the product so much that I said I would like to be able to sell it to schools in the UK. So far so good. Now to buy a LABDISC and here is where the learning curve begins.
Firstly I needed to pay for the item which I found I could do on online through my bank account very good I thought until I realised that I would be charged £15 for the pleasure.
Secondly, I need to get the item to the UK as the company are based in Israel and I need to pay the shipping charges 🙂
So how to do that? Well there are many companies that have a global delivery business. I remembered a few years ago I had something delivered from China through UPS so I dug out the details to find they had been deleted. I set up another “MyUPS” account but found it very difficult to create a collection as they kept asking for an ID number which I did not have and have not been sent.
Now I am not an internet novice but the vagaries of online ordering for a collection service from another country has been rather taxing to say the least. I spoke to a person from UPS who decided that my case needed a call back from the sales team to organise the collection as I would not be able to do this just by paying for the service via a credit card a simple task I would have thought. In the mean time whilst waiting for
UPS to ring me back I have a quote standing with TNT. What does somewhat stagger me is that I can fly return to Lithuania for less than the cost of having a 1kg package delivered. In fact some of the quotes I have seen are more expensive than a return flight from Newcastle upon Tyne to Helsinki and this amazes me, I am in the wrong business I think. So what have I learned from this experience?
1. There are IT systems out there that I have never known or experienced.
2. There is a vocabulary in common parlance for those who deal in International imports and exports things like “forwarder identifier”.
3. There are ways of doing things at an International level that I have never experienced and do not fully understand but I will need to get to grips with if I am going to become an “importer”.
4. There must be better and cheaper ways to achieve my learning outcomes I just need to seek them out and evaluate them!
5. Lessons learned in this exercise will put me in good stead for the future.
And as we say, the learning goes on……..