Customs and Government Regulations – a case study
Due to the ongoing pandemic, small business owners all over the world are having to make difficult decisions about their future, not only how to achieve growth in the ‘new normal’ economy, but for some simply how to stay afloat.
Pre-pandemic strategies are being thrown out the window as changes in consumer behaviour, consumption patterns and general market disruption challenge small businesses to think differently and look for opportunities in novel ways.
In response, small and medium businesses that had not previously considered trading outside their domestic market are now looking further afield, and as a result need to quickly come to grips with international customs and regulations.
One company that has been faced with this challenge when their home market contracted is Ibee Products, a Mexican producer of 100% gourmet honey.
Ibee Products has been operating for over 25 years, and pre-COVID, had a successful and sustainable business distributing its products to the most prestigious hotel chains and restaurants in Mexico. However, the impact of the pandemic changed this irrecoverably, and the company was hit by a sudden and significant decline in customers.
A company that prides itself on perseverance and constancy, Ibee Products reacted swiftly to minimise the long-term impact of the pandemic on its business by shifting strategies and targeting the global retail market where demand for honey was still strong.
Of course, entering the international market and adopting a whole new business model in a very short timeframe threw up many challenges, not least of all navigating the complexities of the export process while maintain operational integrity. The company’s management knew that finding the right logistics partner to guide them through the process was going to be crucial if they were to successfully go global.
Fortunately, through the UPS Women Exporters Program and SheTrades initiative, which is run jointly with the International Trade Center (ITC), an agency of the World Trade Organization and the United Nations, Ibee Products connected to the smart global logistics network of UPS. Through personalised advice, customized solutions and 24/7 support, UPS is making Ibee Product’s new exporting strategy a success.
The company is now shipping their honey across borders with ease - initially into the Middle East where demand for honey is high, but also with plans to expand into the United States.
Crucially, UPS’s ability to simplify the shipping process and customs requirements meant Ibee Products were able to focus on their core operations and maintain productivity and quality during the transition. UPS was also able to offer bespoke solutions to ensure Ibee’s deliveries are made as quickly as possible, with visibility of their shipments at all times and proactive notifications on the status of the packages for both the company and their customers.
Ibee Product’s situation is not unique. There are many small businesses experiencing the same hurdles and tough decisions about how best to position themselves on the global stage to drive new, and much needed, growth. For small businesses looking to scale up, start exporting, participate in Expo 2020 Dubai and compete with larger e-commerce players in the global market, finding the right partner is crucial.
UPS has made it its mission to reduce the burden of international shipping for its customers with its more than 110 years of shipping expertise, providing solutions tailored to the unique needs of smaller businesses, and real time visibility on landed costs and delivery status.
All over the world UPS is helping small businesses meet their potential, expand their reach and remain competitive, even in the face of a global downturn. We are committed to continually finding ways to make our customers’ lives easier and ensure we are serving our communities in a way that makes life just sweeter for all. Let UPS help you move your business forward by delivering what matters.
This piece is contributed by the team at UPS.