Workshop: How to Export

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Per Ajkem’a Loy’a’s request, on Sunday afternoon students led a workshop which focused on exporting. The workshop was divided into three parts. The first, focused on what needs to be in place before exporting begins (high quality products, a clear print and online catalogue with styles and prices, communications, and specific people who will be in charge of the various aspects. To enforce this aspect of communication, students led a game of “Operator” where the first person “placed” an order, and it went around the entire group. At the end the order had changed (from an original 10 blue and green scarves and 5 napkins, to just 10 blue scarves) and was a very effective way of presenting how critical communication was in the success of their business.

When discussing a potential product catalogue, we shared the print catalogue from Lema, another weaving association on Lake Atitlan. Some of the details critiqued included: the prices are listed with a “K” (instead of “Q” for quetzal), and the products are not shown on the body.

Then, students discussed receiving and fulfilling an order. Here, it is critical that Ajkem’a Loy’a know exactly how much time they would need to fulfill an order, if the items are not yet in their inventory. They also discussed various ways of shipping. For this particular point, we are also doing additional research in organizations or people who may be able to support Ajkem’a Loy’a in Guatemala once they are ready to export (Agexport and the Ministry for the Economy are two such organizations they should contact.) Finally, we talked about tracking a shipment to make sure it arrived where it needed to.

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