I first interviewed Stan Coben in 2000. It was in August and he was watching his grandchildren play in a park while on vacation on Nantucket. Stan was in the process of transitioning his company into the 21st Century – connecting his clients in North America with resources in Asia.
As we were profiling others attempting to do the same thing, I figured his would be an interesting story. I have watched his progress over the years, speaking with him each summer on vacation. His company, Global Link Partners (add the link) has just launched its new web site, so I interviewed him for a series of articles.
I wanted to start with his organization’s extensive background in the floral industry, and build future articles to describe how you can leverage what you’ve always done in new directions, to take advantage of your current momentum – leveraging what got you here to where you will need to be to remain successful in the future.
The first question I have is rather basic: Why would I hire Global?
If a manufacturing company is looking to outsource overseas, and they don’t currently have Asian connections, they may find themselves calling trade organizations or government agencies to answer their many questions-- like who will find the right factories?
Who will translate for us? Who will go to China and buy goods for us? Where do you find out this type of information? How do you know you’re getting the best deals? That’s where we come in: we can answer those questions for you, and help you make the connections you need.
We have had great success with clients who are new to the Asian market, such as those who currently manufacture in the U.S. but who want to be more competitive and increase their profit margins. Or, if you are now buying in Asia and you aren’t satisfied with the service you’re getting, we are able to help you find better resources for your needs.
I recently asked a client if he had any other projects he needed to take care of, and he showed me a photograph of a ceramic item and said “well, can you source this for me?” I took it back to the office, and we started working on it immediately.
By the end of the day we had already emailed the picture to some of our manufacturers. That’s pretty fast service-- it didn’t sit on anyone’s desk for a day or a week or a month. It’s my nature to get on top of things and stay there.