One of the most successful sales trips was recently concluded by the MacDonald & Owen export sales team as they returned from a 10 day, 3 city tour of Vietnam.
The trip commenced in a relatively new market for MacDonald & Owen. Hanoi, the capital of Vietnam is a relatively small market in comparison to Ho Chi Minh City. A usually crowded city was all the more crowded due to the International Summit of the heads of state of the United States of American and North Korea. Nevertheless the M&O team was able to schedule some meetings with some existing customers as well as some new customers we were fortunate to bring on board this trip.
A priority of the spring trip was to visit the beautiful Oceanside city of Da Nang, located in the central coastland part of the country. Whilst Da Nang is an even smaller market than Da Nang, it is the 5th largest city in Vietnam. The team was able to secure additional orders with some existing customers as well as confirming business with several new accounts. Fortunately the team was able to spend the weekend in Da Nang and enjoy some downtime. The team went on an evening trip to the ancient city of Hoi An located 40 min south of Da Nang. There we wandered the markets followed by a return trip to Da Nang to watch the evening dragon bridge fire and water display. Sunday was a lot of fun with a boar tour out to Cham Island where the team jumped in the water for a few hours of snorkeling. On Monday it was back to work visiting customers, touring their facilities, and putting deals together.
After our short stay in Da Nang, it was time for the heavy lifting to begin. Ho Chi Minh City is a well established and highly competitive market for American Hardwoods. Our knowledge of the market, willingness to understand the customer’s needs, and the ability to see opportunities made our 5 day stay in Ho Chi Minh City highly productive. We were able to confirm a lot of new business, and thus our 2nd quarter shipments to Vietnam look to be highly profitable.
Overall there was a genuine optimism in the market that the worst is behind us and that 2019 should turn out to be a good year for US lumber exports in to Vietnam. The vast majority of the factories are operating at maximum capacity with several opening additional production facilities to keep up with demand.
Our final day in Vietnam was spent taking a day trip to the Mekong Delta. This was a wonderful opportunity to learn a little more about what life is like outside of the larger cities in Vietnam.
Overall this trip was a huge success for the company and most importantly we were able to learn more about the country and the unique cultures of all 3 cities we visited.