Farsoon announced a break with long-time partner Prodways.
The two companies had cooperated during a five-year agreement for Prodways to distribute Farsoon’s equipment and materials, but the agreement expired at the end of 2020 and apparently will not be renewed.
This may sound negative, but in reality it really is not. In 2015 Farsoon, a China-based company, sought ways to broaden its scope to a global level, and that’s a rather difficult task.
They turned to a company that already had a presence in the European area, Prodways. Prodways is a French company that produces a series of industrial polymer 3D printers using both DLP and SLS 3D printing processes.
This type of arrangement is actually quite common, as it near-instantly allows a company to market products in a distant land without much effort. If doing this on their own, Farsoon would have to deal with a number of issues, including:
- Time zone challenges
- Varying tax reporting regimes
- Building a customer list
- Learning local business culture and practices
- Establishing physical operations facilities
Building a full sales and service network in foreign countries is extremely challenging. More often than not, things are done differently than at home and all sorts of adjustments and accommodations must be made. I’ve heard several tales of 3D printer manufacturers trying to do the “same things they did at home” in other regions, only the fail miserably and then withdraw. It’s a far better and easier approach to simply make arrangements with a local partner.
Prodways had already done all those things, so for a cut of the action, they took on the role of distributor for Farsoon during the contract period.
However, that contract has expired and now things are different. Farsoon said:
“During the last 3 years, Farsoon established its own legal entities in Germany, Russia and USA, as well as partnerships with many regional distributors and sales agents. Furthermore, Farsoon strengthened its technical support organization at Headquarters in Changsha, China. We thereby aim to give our customers the best mix of local, regional and advanced support. Our established global sales & support network covers a range of counties including Russia, Mexico, Korea, India, Singapore, Thailand, China Taiwan, and exclusive Sales Agents in Italy, Poland and Spain/Portugal.”
Evidently Farsoon has now fully established their own marketing, sales and service operations in all those areas, and is well-positioned to expand further.
To put this in perspective, it took Farsoon years to establish that network, and if they hadn’t done the deal with Prodways they would have sold little in the region during those years. It was a smart move, one that other regional 3D printer manufacturers should consider doing when expanding globally.
It’s a good move for Farsoon, and they seem to have no bad feelings about their relationship with Prodways, saying:
“Farsoon thanks Prodways team very much for the great partnership, and wishes Prodways a prosperous future.”
For Prodways this is a loss of some sales for their network. Their sales personnel will have fewer items to sell on their menu. However, they will be able to focus more strongly on their own products.