Our course will teach you how to create anything and deliver it anywhere
years of practical experience
of reliable suppliers
of completed cases
• Owner of LeoGets • Founder of Skolkovo Club of China • Mentor and Investor of Chinese small and medium – sized business projects • 20 years of all over the world procurement experience: Russia, the CIS, China, South Korea, Taiwan, Pakistan, Western and Eastern Europe, Turkey, etc.
It all comes from childhood… It was 1987… I was 13 years old then and did swimming in the Olympic complex, every day I had 2 workouts and studies at school. Path from the subway to the sports complex was full of souvenir sellers who sold black and white badges, stickers, photocopies of the posters of Metallica, Sandra, Modern Talking, there were black marketeers and collectors of chewing gum wrappers… that was the Soviet street foreign market. Do you remember?
Read the whole story
I started my career right after school. At the age of 15 I made designs and placed advertisements for my first customers. Then there was the bank where I became the head of the advertising department and where I had a chance to start to create corporate souvenirs. After that I became the development director of a large souvenir company. How grateful I am to that one director, who refused us a prize after a huge order for the «Fatherland» party was produced by our team in a month, just because the profit was spent by the owners. All this prompted me to start my own business that would be independent and fair!
In August 2000 I founded LeoGets and it all was so fast and so productive. We were one of the first to collaborate with Chinese factories and began to produce the «out of the box branded souvenirs» that were as individual and beautiful as that English swimming team had. Our team's keynote idea was that we were the BEST, we made the «coolest souvenirs», we did not work with small customers but only with those who had big marketing budgets. In 2001 such companies as Gillette, WimmBillDann, Kalina Concern, Colgate-Palmolive, Unilever became our customers. Business with Chinese developed at a rapid pace, we taught them to work, visited exhibitions, mastered new production technologies and explored new products that we offered to our customers.
Our designers came up with new consumer goods unique types, we made cool presentations for customers so that our new products matched their brands corporate identity, we created 3D designs, sent them to Chinese factories and in 10 days we had samples here in Moscow delivered to our customers. They were excited!
In 2005 we went to Ukraine, exhibited at REX and conquered all brands within a month. The year 2006 was marked by a total integration - we have doubled!
Russian subdivisions of our customers introduced us to their Ukrainian colleagues. Further integration into other countries was carried out. Price reduction and individual logistics were achieved by consolidating same design orders from different countries. Logistics was individual, it was by plane for those who wanted it faster, by train for those who had no rush, by sea for those who wished to save some money, some needed custom clearance assistance and some did not. We shipped to Russia, the CIS, Europe and the USA. We have managed to create a universal, economically and logistically profitable tool that allowed to track the shipment at any time, speed up or reduce the cost – our customers were thrilled!
We work with the largest global customers
Having 20 years of procurement experience I consider it my duty to share my experience with young entrepreneurs and with those who want their procurement and logistics department to operate fine or to create it from scratch. My designers are most inspired when their fantasies and ideas get materialized. My buyers have been working in the company for 10-15 years, they like to produce new unique things, they love their job and I am more than happy to have such great minds in my team. My Chinese partners want to be our friends and work with us. My customers are MUCH MORE than others, they are grateful for and delighted with their individuality! How come? I will tell you!
—Elena Vyaznikova, Owner and managing director of LeoGets
Trust your intuition or Who does not risk - does not drink champagne!
One of our customers offered us to take an urgent order, we had to accept or refuse it immediately. 50 thousand bathrobes in 50 days. Wow! We have not done that before. That could be produced in China. Production would take at least 30 days and 2 factories. Delivery by air wouldn't definitely work since that would be too much. What should we do then? Both by sea and by train would take too much time, there were some cargo companies we didn't want to deal with since that was risky and not reliable at all. They all went through Urumqi and Kazakhstan. Winter was coming, car transportation could be dangerous, it could get stuck, still we decided to give it a chance. Trucks were officially booked, we set off. It should have taken 3 days to get to Urumqi, 2 days to Kazakhstan border, 1 day to cross it if all had gone well.
Cars left Urumqi and suddenly we got the news that the Kazakhstan border was about to change. I understood that there would be too many vehicles and that we would lose it all, with no hesitation we rushed out to that new border, though we were not sure if it was already open. We were lucky enough to get their first, to cross it and to get to Moscow in 15 days.
Follow your intuition,
be logistically flexible,
do not carry cargo, they are unmaneuverable
you may get into trouble.
Crisis Management "by Russian way" or If you wanna get a best result-do it yourself!
This was the second time we were producing «miracle» spoons for our customer, but we had to make them for the same price as we made 7 years ago, and the design would have to be more complicated and exquisite. By that time salaries in China have already increased several times, everything got more expansive and it was almost impossible, especially when it came to our former Hong Kong supplier. We started a new supplier search. We have given our samples to 10 Chinese factories and we cried every time we received a photo of what they produced. Finally, one of the suppliers cheered us up, we got the samples and they were approved by the customer. I went to inspect the factory and place a large order. The manufacturer met me in a rather cheap and dirty car, and we drove to the Chinese suburbs. We have already been driving along some rural highways for 4 hours that I felt something was wrong. When we finally arrived, I saw two large metal hangars, where there were shabby metal tables and three Chinese old ladies wearing glasses and doing their best to paint New Year's figures made from polystone. I asked them where the factory, the production, the warehouse were. They told me that it was all in front of me. I couldn't help crying... I had 200 thousand spoons order of a rather complicated design, and I understood that those old ladies would not definitely give them to me. I didn't know what to do. I had to get out of there as quick as possible to not lose a minute! But where would I go? The manufacturer drove me to the nearest city, to a hotel ... I started searching the Internet, I needed to find that city where the polystone was produced. I sent inquiries - the answers were all the same «Sorry, we were busy with New Year's orders, 3 months ahead», I knew we must go there. I knew someone would say yes. The next day I was in Hangzhou, where I succeeded to hold 3 meetings and 3 more were already planned, someone gave me contacts of the reliable factories. In 3 days, I had 3 new samples from 3 manufacturers. Both the metal part and the top part with the painted fruits had to be produced separately. Oh, how complicated it was — a still life painting which had blueberries, strawberries and cherries on it, they should have all been like real and we only had one month. Not because we didn't manage to meet the deadlines, but because the customers tended to wait until the last minute, and then the urgent orders came in, they needed it all ASAP and the superheroes of LeoGets came to their rescue. Let me remind you that at that all reliable factories were much more expensive and fully booked so I had to place orders without any assistance of English-speaking managers and control the quality of the entire production process on my own from start to finish. I invited former employees of a large inspection company and made them work in key production areas. From time to time I had to get into the process myself. Time went by and the manufacturer started to understand that it all went so smoothly that he could increase the price, but I knew exactly that everything worked so well only because we have managed to do it so. Sometimes he got drunk and stopped the production, in the morning it would start again. We lacked time, we had to paint it all with the help of family productions and to control them separately. When it was all almost produced, having done it in due time, he told that he earned so little he wanted an extra charge for what had been already finished, packed and stood behind me. Negotiations went on all day, they seemed to have no end, finally he got very hungry and gave up. The car left, the mission was completed, and all I wanted was to forget this hell.
Good factories are like good restaurants always busy; they need to be booked in advance.
Good Chinese-hungry Chinese.
Cheap is good if you pay not with your money, but with your nerves and time.
The customer was happy as always, since he got what he needed for the price he wanted.
Trust, but verify or How to remake 50K amount in 3 days!
As it has always been done, the inspector was sent to check 50 thousand pearl pendants produced for our customer. Inspection was successful, we sent the pendants to Moscow, and flew to the Canton exhibition to look for new ideas. A few days later they called us from the office and informed that they couldn't give what was received to the customer, the pearls were spoiled. We lacked time, budget and didn't know how to provide the quality. The news came in the evening when we were all very tired after the Guangzhou exhibition, peacefully drinking wine. Something had to be done ... The first thought was to kill the factory owner, the second was to kill the inspector, but we knew we had to decide ASAP, since the sale was to start in a week in all regional retailers. We rushed out to the pearl market! We would find the answer there. There were at least 8 options of pearls on the market: plastic - cheap, - medium, - expensive, shell pearls, cultured pearls and natural pearls. We couldn't replace that with plastic cheap stuff, cultured pearls no longer fitted our budget, finally we chose shell pearls! There were very beautiful having different tones, heavy, similar to the big sea pearls but not that pricy. We bought 25 pieces and strung them on chains, the samples were ready! We had to urgently transfer them to Moscow. We found a flight attendant who was flying from Hong Kong in the morning. Samples were transferred from Guangzhou to Hong Kong by bus, where our friend took them to the airport and gave them to the flight attendant, in the morning they were all in Moscow and approved by the customer, who liked the new samples even more. We had to deliver 50 thousand of new pearl pendants to Moscow in a week. Then we at least knew how to move on! We met the factory owner, who refused to redo the order for us, I was ready to tear her to pieces. She knew from the start that she wouldn't play fair, she bribed the inspector and sent us those pearls putting us in so much trouble. We understood she wouldn't give up; we had to rush.
We went to market and bought 50 thousand of pearls, chains with holders and bags. With what we had we arrived at the factory, came in and occupied a small production workshop. We told the factory owner we would need her workers' assistance to redo the order. We had to redo in 2 days what previously took the factory workers a month. How would we do it? There were not so many workers, we didn't have time to recruit the new ones ... So, we showed them what to do and they began to work. Then we chose those who best coped with production and packing. Appointed them as supervisors, while we were packing and checking. After 2 hours it became clear that at least seven times more people were needed. The working day was almost over when I understood what to do! We would involve the workers from other factories when they go out for a walk after dinner. So, we did. I took off $ 1,000 in RMB and went out to search for help. English-speaking Chinese woman with the sample of pearl pendant in her hands went out with me, she promised those people that they would receive 100 yuan per night shift and explained what had to be done. They agreed with no hesitation. The supervisors trained them, refused those who didn't manage! The work was done by third the next morning. Boxes with pearls were taken to Ginseng Airport and transported to Beijing by plane the same day. In Beijing, they were taken to Cargo and packed in suitcases that were handed over to flight attendants and pilots, and a day later they were in Moscow at our warehouse, where they were carefully packed in boxes, marked and palletized. 2 days later our customer received the first part of the newly produced pendants which they put in the gift sets as it was intended. The rest arrived in next two days. We still have a few of those first pendants in our sample warehouse, they remind us of this «real adventure». Our customer was very satisfied with and grateful for such a quick solution to the problem which seemed to be impossible to solve and that might have led to the failure of their big advertising campaign. We have surely lost money, but not that much - 20% only, but the orders we received from this customer after compensated for all our losses and brought us profit!
One head is good, but 10 is better or How to teach Chinese factory to produce your order properly!
At that time, we were young and inexperienced... We found an intermediary, didn't get at once that was not a factory, made a 30% prepayment and started to wait for a sample to be produced, from time to time asking the supplier whether that was ready or not. At some moment he stopped answering our emails and calls. What was going on? We had to go and check. I flew to Ningbo having the support of the owners of one of the well-known to us factories, and we both went to the office of the «missing supplier». I didn't expect at all that having opened the door, I would see three students sitting in a 3x3 m room, who during our Skype calls were showing us some big factory with a manager's office and a showroom. Their website was so well designed, not like some trading company would have. We took those young men to the factory. To our luck all the production materials have already been prepared, but at that moment they promised to produce that all not in 2 weeks as was expected, but in 2 months, since the press equipment they had, considering our complicated design, wouldn't cope with that big order in 2 weeks. I asked them to show me how they were going to do that. They showed heat press where two pieces of the cut-out part of the CD case were put, paper with a mirror logo was placed on top of them, the lid was closed, and the pattern went from paper to fabric. It seemed to me the size of the press allowed to put all 4 pieces on the surface, for some reason they did not do that ... and for some reason they did not want to buy additional presses that would easily solve the lack of time problem. So, we did, we bought three more presses for 200 USD each and began to print 4 pieces in each. Everything was done in a week. The rest of the week was spent on tailoring, a neighboring factory came to our help.
The issue was settled!
Everything came on time and was of excellent quality.
Cheat on the creator or The avaricious pays twice!
Don't mess with the creator! We were asked to make a copy of a blister header for a bottle with a bracelet advertising the promotion. It was decided to make blisters in Russia, bracelets in China, to collect it all in Moscow and then to hand it over to the customer. We weren't the ones who invented the header, other manufacturers have already done that for us, but the customer decided to save some money by asking us to do it all. Therefore, we had to circumvent the patent development and make an analogue. We were looking for someone who was able to do this, trying to find out how to circumvent the patent, what materials were cheaper, how to meet deadlines and at the same time we were producing bracelets. Everything went wrong, every day we faced a lot of obstacles until the final sample was made and approved.
We launched the production - a very massive one but our problems continued ... A few days after the launch the blister manufacturer changed the deadlines, and we thought that was the end. We really believed that we would fail it all. We had to suspend the bracelets production. Chinese supplier got scared. We started looking for other suppliers of blisters, but no one was there. The panic began. The factory producing bracelets informed us that they would not return the prepayment and would stop the production. It took me some time to understand why that was all happening... Our customer and we wanted to cheat on the header brilliant developer. I dialed the developer and asked for a meeting. It took us 10 minutes to agree on price, deadlines, and materials. The Chinese to our surprise decided to teach us a lesson and offered to go to court if we wanted our prepayment back, but as soon as I arrived in China, everything was quickly resolved, and the factory continued production. The customer informed us that the manager in charge of this project was suddenly appointed to another position. All has been settled in a week.
Sometimes we destroy a beautiful intention of the universe and do something the way we want, the way we think is best though it is obviously not! And yet it is all given to us simply - you just need to open your eyes and be honest.
As a result, the person whom we wanted to cheat on, helped us with that project, everything was done in the best way possible.
Best quality in due time for a good price! I consider that a great example of 3D win-win-win cooperation.
Is the customer always right?! or what happens happens for the best!
We were provided with the exact drawings according to which the containers in the form of an egg had to be produced. A keychain was to be laid inside this egg. The egg was supposed to be packed in a box with glue and become a small gift. The sample was approved, the entire order was produced as required and delivered to our customer on time, all payments were made when all of a sudden 6 months later we received a quality claim. The eggs didn't not fit the equipment, well, what should I have done, then? Promotion was failed. We went to the factory, had a look - they really didn't not fit in, but what did we have to do with that? What did you mean? Did you produce them? Yes. I understood that they were blaming me! They started to look for the drawings. At first look all was correct, sizes, acceptable tolerances. It turned out the factory ordered some very expensive packaging equipment, an over-modern conveyor and the shape for packing the eggs was exactly the same size as it was in the drawings provided to us. But they didn't consider that the acceptable tolerances of +/- 2mm must have been provided. That was their mistake.
But how do you confess so easily? - it's impossible, you always need to find someone to blame for and not to get fired, so it was agreed to do what was mutually profitable for both parties – we partially returned the payment while they promised us new orders. Which we still work on.
A little bit about financial fraud or Would you know where to fall, straws would lay down beforehand!
We had an order for plastic toys production that came from Dongguan. Everything went smoothly, the inspection was successful, we were going to make a 70 percent payment for the order the next day after the inspection. In the morning we got an email from our factory manager who asked us to transfer money to different bank details, since the factory was about to have some tax inspection and they wanted to avoid the unnecessary attention. We agreed with no hesitation, since attached to the email was a complete correspondence, names, all the email details were clear, we didn't have a single doubt. Payment was made immediately; the swift was sent to the factory. Half an hour after the transaction, it became clear that some unknown company details were indicated in the swift and the factory itself had no connection to that fraud. We began to check it all and saw the unnoticeable at first sight mistake in the email. Instead of "p" letter there was "q".
I bought a ticket and flew to Beijing, having asked my friend to report to the Beijing police on my behalf, since the beneficiary's bank was in Beijing. Early in the morning I was at the police station with all the documents, the fraud case was opened, the recipient was immediately arrested. Fraudsters didn't get our money, I didn't know what happened to them after, I have left, I never really liked to get in the details of Chinese legal processes. But since the case was opened, they should have figured it all out. The factory sales manager disappeared what was quite expectable.
Such type of fraud is quite common, it may happen to anyone or anywhere.
The scenario is always the same. Beware of frauds!
The absurdities of certification process or How to find the fool!
Many of our customers have special requirements for the pre-production samples testing by the international laboratories, they provide us with their own set of rules and instructions. That case of ours was ridiculously unreasonable.
We had to produce heat sensitive mugs that changed their images when filled with hot water. Enamels baking had to be tested while bags with raw paints required separate testing. We were sure that the paints were environmentally friendly, as we discussed that before, and as always we had to start production due to the customer's pressing deadlines.
2 weeks after we received the laboratory report which said that the product did not pass the test due to the chemical elements contained in it that were prohibited to use for such production. We informed our customer and stopped the production. We found out in which particular sample those elements were detected and it turned out that instead of testing the completed product - mugs with the design applied, they tested raw paints, but the fact was that the prohibited chemical element evaporated only during the baking...
Everyone knew it was unreasonable, but no one wanted and couldn't do anything, neither the customer, since the rules were established by the QC system of the head office, nor the laboratory. Production stopped - time was wasting - everyone was keeping silence. We started to lose money... All of a sudden the manufacturer had a brilliant idea – he suggested not to add that chemical element in the powder sample for the laboratory testing, we did so, the tests were passed, production continued. We didn't manage to provide our customers with the product on time, we had a one-week delay, so they dropped us out of their supplier list and accused of not having informed them of such a problem immediately, though we were doing that almost every day. Such is the situation in the world of international relations ...
Is the customer really always right!?
The entire course consists of 16 different modules. Each module incudes one theoretical and one practical lesson dedicated to solving a specific problem.
Entire course overview and an action plan development
Product idea and design creation (mood board, 3D design and printing)
I will buy it for a song
Supplier smart search and selection, non-direct marketing and price analysis, factory locations features
Never Lose a Cent
Goods price and real volume calculation (minimum of 10 components)
Sample = Mass production?
Production of samples and their delivery, testing, measurements, advance sample approval
Legal verification of suppliers and partners, companies opening abroad, taxation
Measure twice, cut one
Inspection and certification (Russian + international) of goods and factories
The process is of the most importance
Collaboration with the factory - launching, overseeing production processes, details of materials and the whole lot checking
Way to save
Goods packaging and labeling
Documents preparation: inquiry, contract (payment and delivery terms of Incoterms), invoice, packing list, bill of ladings
Supply organization (all over the world, by railway, by sea, by air, mixed) and transport company choice
Shuttle - OK?
Special types of delivery and its subtleties (cargo, bundle, courier delivery)
Crisis management in China
Customs clearance of goods in Russia and other countries (details and subtleties) + FEACN code determination, danger of cargo and illegal customs clearance
Work at exhibitions, factories, relations with partners, visas, transportation, customs, trends, books about working with China and other resources
On a silver platter
What do big customers want and how to give it to them!
Pick an option convenient to you
Choose any module of the course necessary for you at the moment
All 17 modules of the course during which we will develop a step-by-step action plan for the all over the world procurement. During the course you will get templates, examples and real experience
Ideal for those who just want to get advices on how to work on their case
Apply now and get the introduction module for free
Specially for those who want to get the result ASAP
Procurement department creation
Our team will create the logistics and procurement department for you ASAP
With many years of experience, we know how to realize the brightest and most innovative ideas of yours