Saturday March 02, 2024

Trust deficit

December 10, 2023

LAHORE: Pakistan is far behind in exports of services where the buyer observes the quality of product after delivery to the buyer while manufactured goods can be inspected and passed by inspectors of foreign buyers before shipment.

The foreign buyers who place orders of their branded apparel have trust in the suppliers still they prefer pre-shipment inspection to ensure full quality compliance. In service the buyer in case of software for instance explains to the software company its requirements.

This picture shows a general view of the Karachi seaport. — AFP/File
This picture shows a general view of the Karachi seaport. — AFP/File 

The software engineer is expected to incorporate checks and balances as well the level of access each person is accorded. In the case of manufacturing software the precision of every process is dependent on accurate and precise operation of the software.

The software buyers do not have the same level of trust in our software services that they have in our apparel producers. Just like apparel the software service must be delivered on a scheduled date.

The buyer suffers badly if the software is not delivered on time or it malfunctions. Pakistan’s IT sector has not yet gained the confidence of foreign buyers that is the reason they place smaller and less intricate orders so that they could immediately fall back on other efficient suppliers. Software production relies heavily on the reputation of the software developer, user reviews, and updates. Security and functionality are critical for gaining and maintaining confidence. Our software exports would gallop once we gain the confidence of buyers.

Software involves the development of intangible products, such as applications, programs, or systems, which run on electronic devices.

Its production involves coding, testing, debugging, and continuous updates. The process is iterative and often involves agile methodologies.

Services are intangible and a service is not actually created until it is delivered, it is essential for service providers to develop a profile and credibility in new markets.

The relationship marketing is different from traditional marketing because service providers listen to clients’ needs, and then shape the service offering accordingly. The goal of relationship marketing is to build trust, out of which sales result.

In case of exporting commodities or manufactured items buyers could see and try at trade fairs.

Services, however, cannot be inspected ahead of time this the reason that exporting in the services sector requires the service provider to establish credibility and gain the trust of potential clients which requires a lot of patience and time.

To survive in IT business, it is imperative to develop a strong network of information and referral sources. Networking is crucial for services exporters so those in the network who know the capabilities of the services business recommend it to others. However, that networking does not stop with meeting people.

For those with a busy travel schedule, follow-through becomes the challenge.

The IT firms should establish relationships directly with potential customers, rather than relying on local agents.

As unlike goods exporters, service exporters cannot rely on a local service representative or intermediary familiar with the culture and with an established network of contacts. Some service firms choose to address this problem by working with a local partner to deliver the service, which is actually the easiest and cheapest way to enter a new market.

As international competition shifts from price to quality and flexibility, the need for training becomes increasingly important. In addition to technical skills, all service exporters need interpersonal communication and problem-solving skills that allow them to reach out to new markets and interpret their needs.