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Are Nightmares about International Shipping Keeping You Up?

Companies that produce training materials and other time-sensitive documentation for a global audience need to feel 100% confident that their materials will be delivered where they’re needed, when they’re needed. And not a day shipping keeping you up at night (1)

And if it were as simple as conjuring up your very own Harry Potter to cast one of his spells (what would he call it – Deliverencio?), those in charge of making sure their company’s training materials were delivered safely all over the world would all sleep like babies.

But there’s no such spell. Companies turn to partners, like print providers, to produce, manage and deliver thousands of documents day after day to countries worldwide.

What if your courseware portal (or marketing portal) could manage international shipments for you? Having the print production as well as global delivery handled automatically by your portal would give you back your restful nights and save you money as well.

Printing training materials is easy compared to global fulfillment of such orders, because of customs policies, which vary from country to country, as well as taxes and duties. Then there are import regulations to deal with. Such is the stuff of trainers' headaches.

If you want to avoid logistical nightmares, you must have a strategy in place for international shipments.

One key thing to consider if you need global fulfillment is whether your print provider has global facilities and is therefore able to print your training materials remotely – but within or nearer to the countries where you need deliveries made. Although every country is different, in places such as China, shipping into the country can be difficult, but shipping within that country is not. So working with a partner that has a facility in China would save you time and money. Other countries have notoriously challenging customs regulations, including South Africa, South America, Australia, and Russia.

As companies compete on a global scale, chances are strong that they’re already expanding into the BRIC countries. Brazil, Russia, India and China, dubbed “BRIC” over a decade ago by Jim O’Neil of Goldman Sachs, are considered to be mega-powers worth watching. They already account for approximately 43% of the world’s population and 21% of its GDP, as noted in a post on The Globe and Mail (Canada), although this post from GlobalSherpa claims that it’s more like 25% of the world’s GDP.

(And just when you thought the BRIC countries were the #1 hot topic in global business development, get ready for EMIC: Ethiopia, Myanmar, Iran and Colombia. According to a recent Huffington Post piece, the EMICs all have fast-growing economies that will have a global impact. Guess which city was rated the #1 innovative city in the world by the Wall Street Journal? Medellin.)

Bottom line? Work with a partner that has a global production network to prevent international shipping nightmares. It will help you overcome customs delays. It will also minimize your shipping expenses and time-to-market by producing (or storing) what is needed remotely. If your training materials are produced remotely, there’s yet another benefit: you’ll have more time for last-minute enrollments as well as changes in content. Your materials can be kept current.

When you’re considering a printing partner for materials you need delivered globally, it’s not enough to evaluate a company on print quality alone. It’s equally important to determine how they would produce and deliver your materials worldwide.

Find out what systems they have in place, where their facilities are located, and how much knowledge and experience they have in global shipping. This is one tire you need to kick.

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