So many years ago, I moonlighted as a supplier of handicrafts, particularly rattan baskets for a local exporter.
My friend invited me to join her business venture, where we get orders from direct exporters overseas, and we were the ones supplying the finished products. It was not just the typical rattan wicker basket that we use as container of goods we bought from the wet market, but different kinds of baskets like floral baskets, hampers, decorative wicker baskets shaped like swan or duck, fruit basket, etc.
The finished products were sent to different countries abroad after it had undergone quality control.
Here are the steps on how to become a supplier, based on our experience:
- Get orders or purchase order from the exporter
- Get the specifications, the materials to be used, size, quantity, etc.
- Get the target date of delivery
- Go to the supplier of raw materials, though today I think it is hard to get rattan wickers due to dwindling resources and government restrictions, but other available materials could be used like bamboo splits, twisted vines, coconut husks, coconut shells, and other forest products.
- Go to the basket makers, or just supply materials to your workers if you are employing them. They are paid based on the number of baskets they made.
- Specify the target date of delivery of the baskets to the exporter. Do the final quality control before you get it from the basket weavers/makers. Be strict with the specifications or your basket will be rejected by the exporter. Sometimes, it could be repaired to meet the specifications.
- After the baskets were received by the exporter, he will issue a check payment for the orders.
- Ask for another order if there is any.
Have at least three or four exporters so that you can get many orders. It is easier now to transact with exporters because it could be done online, unlike in the past when we had to commute from the province to Metro Manila where the exporters were based, just to get the orders.
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