Crossborder Purchasing

For companies based in Switzerland

  • Importing goods from the EU is only worthwhile for large quantities?
  • The prices abroad would be much cheaper?
  • So far, only the complicated handling and the high costs keep you from importing?

With Columbus Crossborder Purchasing you can import small quantities cheaply and quickly. Even single items can be in Switzerland within 24 hours, and at very manageable costs.

With Columbus Crossborder Purchasing you can easily integrate suppliers e.g. from Germany or Austria into your purchasing system as if they were domestic Swiss suppliers. You can reorder small quantities on a daily or weekly basis without incurring high costs.

Swiss retailers often buy too expensively. Many are aware of this, especially when looking at their European neighbors. The higher purchase prices in Switzerland are mainly due to the fact that Swiss suppliers/distributors have significantly higher costs and lower quantities compared to EU suppliers.

In the end, however, Swiss retailers often shy away from buying in the EU because of the effort and complexity involved. In addition, these factors play a role:

  • High shipping costs
  • Long shipping time
  • Complicated VAT/customs accounting
  • Customs costs: Customs may be applicable, but is usually significantly less than the purchase price difference.
  • Own account at customs with corresponding deposits necessary
  • Foreign currency (special account or exchange rate management)

In addition to the price advantage, EU suppliers usually also bring the advantage of greater choice (product range and scope) as well as better availability (due to larger warehouses). Conclusion: If it were easier, many Swiss companies would buy more abroad.

Problem solution

With Columbus’ Crossborder Purchasing, buying/procurement from EU suppliers is almost as easy as from a Swiss supplier.

With Columbus, a Swiss company can order small quantities abroad at low transaction costs. The hurdle of customs/forwarding and freight is eliminated.

Delivery takes only one day longer than domestic orders.

Today, purchasing abroad is usually only worthwhile if you order a larger number of pieces or several pallets. You pay EUR 120.- for the delivery and another EUR 100.- for customs clearance, and then you wait five days for the delivery.

With Columbus’ Crossborder Purchasing, e.g. German wholesalers can be integrated as suppliers into one’s own ERP – in order to then make daily smaller orders, which are delivered to Switzerland within 24 hours, without the transport/customs clearance costs becoming a factor. In addition, the purchase prices are converted into CHF on a daily basis.

Columbus integrates the product and price list of the desired EU wholesaler into the backend software and provides the dealer with a price list in CHF. The dealer orders via his normal order processes (from the EU wholesaler) and sends Columbus a copy each time. The EU wholesaler then delivers to the EU location of Columbus, which does the import and sends the shipment to the dealer (or directly to end customers).

This service can also be combined with the product Switzerland Logistics, so that Columbus delivers not only to the main warehouse of the retailer, but also to his stores or end customers.