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Procurement International: The Art of 'Glocalization'

Like many companies in the U.S., Procurement International Ltd., Wickingham, Great Britain, founds its way into the rewards and recognition business by accident. The company was founded in 1979 as an importer of optical and audio products to support the promotional activities of various British brands. When one of its clients asked it to procure product for an on-pack promotion in the 1980s, it was suddenly in the incentive business. 
 
A MAJOR PLAYER
Today, Procurement International is one of the largest players in the growing market for global fulfillment, focusing primarily on the European Union, Middle East, Africa, Brazil and Australia, either directly through its warehouse just outside London or through select fulfillment companies in other countries. It provides fulfillment services to major multinationals through incentive and recognition companies in the U.K., U.S. and other countries.
According to Ian Rosewell, CEO/Managing Director, the company ships most orders within three days of redemption by keeping in stock up to 5,000 products in a 16,000-square-foot warehouse. He says that delivery to the furthest part of Europe takes three days by way of UPS, the company’s preferred shipping vendor. “End to end, 95% of our shipments get delivered within seven days” Rosewell notes. For the Middle East and Africa (and Norway and Switzerland, which are not in the European Union), the company ships from Great Britain duty-paid so recipients don’t have to deal with any payments or paperwork.
 
GREATER IMPACT
Barry Doyle, International Sales Director, says that 60% to 70% of all shipments include a personal note. The company also provides gift-wrapping for some clients and can also customize boxes for even greater impact when the award arrives at the home or office of the recipient. 
Rosewell says that one of the keys to Procurement International’s success is its understanding of different cultures. “For many clients, ‘glocalization’ is important – that is, understanding the types of products and even colors that work in different countries. We’re specialists in this.”
While a leader in international fulfillment, Procurement International derives a significant portion of its business with U.K. loyalty companies and programs. That, explains Rosewell, is the “bread and butter of our business.”  Added Doyle: “We’re seeing increased interest in international fulfillment, but we aren’t sure yet if it’s a lot of incentive and recognition companies inquiring about the same companies, or if there is a genuine across-the-board increased interest from large companies in better managing their award programs across the globe.”
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