If you have a growing print on demand business, you have likely come across the challenges around sourcing products. At first, it may seem like an obvious and simple part of the business process, but the more you dig into it the more you have most likely come to realize that this is a more complex aspect of your business that requires time and careful planning. To facilitate your decision making, let’s break this down to better understand the avenues available in tackling this feat.
You can either get your products from a single source, where you have only one manufacturer that produces your products, or you can get them from multiple sources, where you have a variety of manufacturers that carry a line of products that you can then select from and manage.
Below we explain the pros and cons of single and multi-sourcing and how Gooten brings together the best of both worlds.
Pros & Cons of Single-Sourcing
- Channel visibility. With a single vendor responsible for your orders, you are able to have better visibility on tracking orders from start to finish and detecting any potential issues during the process. It is also easier to communicate and provide feedback since you are maintaining a relationship with one point of contact.
- Cost savings. Who doesn’t love saving on costs? Working with a single vendor allows you to leverage economies of scale and offer competitive pricing for your end consumers, which can ultimately increase your sales.
- Limited selection of products. If you want to expand your store’s product line, the vendor you work with may not specialize in or have the equipment to produce the products you’re looking for.
- May not meet demands. What happens if you just executed a successful marketing campaign and demand for your product skyrockets? Your vendor may not be able to handle your spike in order volume without overwhelming its own production capabilities.
- Operational impact due to economic factors. If your vendor shuts down due to external factors, such as a global pandemic, what happens to your orders? They won’t get fulfilled or there will be a significant delay in fulfillment. Either way, your business will be affected if your single-source vendor can’t fulfill your orders.
If you are only selling one product, then using a single manufacturer to create and fulfill your orders might be the right direction for you. But it’s important to be aware of the limitations a single vendor has when your business starts to grow or if that vendor experiences a problem.
Pros & Cons of Multi-Sourcing
- Ability to source multiple products. With multiple vendors, you can easily add new products to your catalog.
- Reduce the risk of stockouts and production delays. Multi-sourcing avoids “putting all your eggs in one basket.” If one vendor experiences an issue, you can use a different vendor to produce and fulfill the same item instead.
- Negotiating power. By using multiple vendors, you have negotiating power to shop around for high quality products at the best price point.
- Complex to manage. Building relationships with multiple vendors can be difficult to manage and maintain. Because you have to manage so many orders from more than one vendor, you may not have full visibility on moving orders and detecting potential issues or gaps.
- Time-consuming. Dealing with multiple vendors means more contracts to negotiate, support issues to manage, tasks to approve, and processes to control. In other words, it is extremely time-consuming. Time spent on vendor management means time away from actually growing your business.
- Integration difficulties. Each time you add another vendor to your business, you have to create new product and technology integrations with them, which can be costly and time-consuming.
Gooten: The Best of Both Worlds
With Gooten, you can get the benefits of single-source and multi-source without any of the complex or costly pitfalls. That’s because of The Gooten Network, our robust combination of 30+ manufacturers, cutting-edge technology, and white-glove service.
Ecommerce businesses that use Gooten get the capacity, flexibility, and negotiating power of a large and comprehensive global supply chain without the hassle of having to manage it.
When you use Gooten…
- You only have to work with one point of contact
- You get access to 30+ manufacturers from all over the world
- You can easily add new products to your catalog
- You get higher margins on your products
- You don’t have to negotiate multiple contracts, implement multiple API integrations, or manage multiple relationships
- You have access to production capabilities that can handle an influx of orders, seasonal demands, and unexpected economic factors without having to manage any of it yourself
I did try to begin with another company before Gooten, but it was difficult or impossible to sync my shop the way I wanted. With Gooten it was easy and intuitive. My crib bedding shop began with myself sewing each piece. As my business grew, I couldn’t keep up with demand. Gooten allowed me to continually grow, and even add more product options to my collections. For me, my business has become almost passive income after I design, upload, and list the products. It has allowed me to return to creativity, rather than tirelessly sewing all day!
Gooten allows up to scale quickly without wasting time and money on setting up physical infrastructure. Being global means we can quickly enter new markets in a scalable, environmentally friendly way. This allowed us to sell more than 1,000 unique one-of-a-kind art prints in just a couple of months.
Thanks to Gooten, I've been able to expand my product catalog with items I only dreamt of before. Items such as koozies and yoga mats are perfect examples of the types of products I was desperately trying to provide people with. I've been able to provide my unique designs supplemented with Gooten's product selection resulting in the most unique gifts for my Etsy customers.