Monday, November 19, 2012
Monday morning and lots to do. About to go for a walk to grab a coffee, clothes are on the line, kids at school, house cleaned... well not cleaned but everything put back where it should be.
I am hoping my clothes will be here in Friday. Fingers crossed.
Doing business in Indonesia certainly has its challenges. The most obvious being the distance... the second and unexpected is the cultural differences in the way we do business. As you know I have run a Graphic Design business for 13 years so I know a thing or two about running a business, managing staff, managing suppliers, servicing clients and keeping an eye on the books. The area that I focus on with my client management is open COMMUNICATION. Let people know what is going on, every step of the way. If there is a problem, tell them the problem and then follow it up straight away with the solution. In 13 years I can't recall a problem that couldn't be fixed or a situation that caused major concern to the client. As long as they were kept in the loop then things always worked out and if anything the relationship became tighter. From my experience if you work with your client to solve a problem and offer reasonable solutions you gain the respect and trust from that client quicker then if that relationship never hits a snag.
So what has this got to do with loopylu.
Well.... I hadn't heard from my manufacturer for over a week. She promised that the clothes would be leaving Indonesia on the 5th November and the 15th came with not a peep from them. Of course I am thinking the worst. They have taken my money and done the runner.... No, finally after many phones calls, texts and emails I got a response. They had made a mistake with the amount of fabric required for the board shorts. So they needed to source another 70m of fabric and have it printed and then sewn into the board shorts. In my books minor problem. Source the extra fabric and your on your way... let the client know what the problem is and what you plan to do but there will be a slight delay. Not a problem... but instead they go into fix it mode, can't admit problem, they just want to solve it and not let the client know. This is the way they do business. I explained that I can't work that way. I need to know everything ... this cultural difference in doing business in Indonesia what unexpected but then I was told to expect the unexpected. I have asked them to keep the lines of communication open and if I ask for an update I need an honest and realistic response. No point telling me it will be all ready tomorrow when they know full well it won't be until Friday.
Anyway fingers crossed that the clothes will be here on Friday and what she told me is indeed correct. Not like I can just jump on a plane to check.
What cultural business practices have you encountered....? Love to hear your tales.