The responsibilities of a being a supplier for Carnival Cruise Lines are huge. You will normally only have six hours in which to carefully load-up your delivery and if you are dealing in perishable items, you will always have to have a backup of produce available should something go wrong with the first batch, leaving the cruise line without the supplies that it desperately needs. Working with Carnival Cruise Lines will also generate a huge amount of paperwork for you and your company. You must have the manpower to hand to cope with such administrative demands, on top of being able to supply a product that Carnival cannot resist investing in.
- Skill level:
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Things you need
- Information about current Carnival Cruise Line suppliers
- Access to Carnival Cruise Lines’ five-year strategic plan
- List of docks where supplies can be uploaded
Analyse the market, your product and your company’s capabilities. Not all companies have manpower, funding and organisation required to be a successful supplier for a cruise line as large as Carnival. Find out if your business venture would be a new idea for Carnival or if another supplier is already supplying the cruise line with the same or a similar product. Investigate into how much other suppliers are charging Carnival for similar products and take a look at your budget. Be brutal with yourself and decide whether or not you have a product worth selling to Carnival at a price they would be interested in paying.
Contact Carnival Cruise Lines directly (See Resources). You will need to speak with either the vice president of global supply chain or one of the managers in charge of purchasing. Pitch your deal and your product. Be clear, before you call, why Carnival Cruise Lines would want to invest in your product. Have definite figures ready to share with the manager and be ready to negotiate if needs be. Ask the manager for more time if you need to significantly reevaluate your finances in order to be able to beat the competition and make sure you call back with a better offer the following day.
Be ready to work within the five-year strategic plan that Carnival Cruise Lines is known for working towards. Carnival Cruise Lines will want to tie you into a five-year contract and you should be able to provide the financial and strategic evidence that your company would be able to cope with such a committment. Also be prepared to accept the fact that you may have to wait for a competitor’s five-year contract to come to an end before your company can start to work with Carnival Cruise Lines on a regular basis.
Make a highly detailed plan covering how you will supply, transport and load all the products you intend to provide. You will need a list of the docking ports available along the cruise-line routes to be able to plan out your deliveries accordingly.
Be prepared to have to wade through a fair amount of paperwork when working with Carnival Cruise Lines. The size of the company means that there are a lot of bureaucratic tasks to go through. You will need to file everything and keep everything on file, purchase orders, receipts and contracts, for example, for at least five years. It might be necessary to hire an assistant to focus on the administrative duties of Carnival Cruise Lines alone should your negotiations with the company be successful.
Tips and warnings
- If your product is a perishable item, consider servicing deliveries to a local port only.
- Have an emergency supply backup in place, to deal with unexpected cruise-line needs, particularly if you are providing Carnival with fresh produce.
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