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Inter-Link to Provide Sourcing Savvy

A trio of former Springs Industries vets has formed a new venture to bridge the gap between U.S. retailers and off-shore manufacturers.

While a handful of major volume retailers already have direct sourcing operations in place, Inter-Link Enterprises aims to service all those who don't, according to Charles Metzler, president.

Metzler spent 23 years at Springs, and his last position there involved global sourcing. He's joined at Inter-Link by John Wirth, former Springs vp of manufacturing, and Jeff Eisentrout, former Springs vp of operations.

The company has forged strategic alliances with warehouse operators in Los Angeles and Charlotte as well as a partnership with a New York-based design firm. Inter-Link will fulfill sales representation, order management, customer service, vendor compliance and EDI functions, Metzler said, remarking, “We're not an agent; we're an extension of the manufacturer. We're their U.S. operation.”

Inter-Link's pitch to off-shore manufacturers is its economies of scale. “It's not like you have to set up a whole warehouse and pay for all the software hook-ups. You only pay for it when you use it,” he said.

The overarching goal is to cut cost out of the sourcing process, he added.

“The labor rates are all roughly the same. The manufacturers are having problems dealing with the retailers and the product specs. We can go into the facilities in foreign countries and show them cut the cost out,” he said.

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