• Elksourcing:How to Evaluate Chinese Suppliers?

    Elksourcing:How to Evaluate Chinese Suppliers?

    When sourcing from China, one of the most important things you as a buyer need to do is to make sure you are working with the right supplier. So, where do you start? Define your ideal supplier. This is unique to each buyer and depends on a number of factors, including price, quality and lead time. Define your location. Where factories are based should also play a role in supplier evaluation. While factories in China’s northern and western provinces have lower manufacturing costs, the quality is often lower. Those located along the coast and in the southern region have higher production outlay but the quality is generally better. Note as well that the farther inland you go, the more expensive your logistics costs will be. Look in the right places. B2B websites can help buyers find suppliers, but it’s highly recommended meeting suppliers face to face. Further, always do your due diligence and verify…

  • Elksourcing:Tips About Negotiating with Chinese Suppliers

    Elksourcing:Tips About Negotiating with Chinese Suppliers

    So, you have narrowed down your list of potential suppliers, done your due diligence and decided on one factory to manufacture your product. But before you sign that contract, you would most probably need to negotiate quality, price and payment terms. The first thing you need to make sure is you are talking to the decision maker. Quality and production concerns, for instance, should be discussed with engineers, managers and QC personnel, not salespeople. It is also better that you have your own translator, one whom you have briefed in advance about terminology and what to expect. Before you start negotiating terms with the supplier, be aware of the following: Face to face meetings are always the best way to communicate. Most factory representatives will not tell you “no.” There will always be problems-you just will not know about all of them. Do not confuse being polite or even “yes”…

  • Elksourcing:3 Main Traps to Avoid for China Industrial Sourcing

    Elksourcing:3 Main Traps to Avoid for China Industrial Sourcing

    China industrial sourcing has many challenges. Most of them are a result of the Chinese business environment and the fast pace of the country. But some problems are self-inflicted by buyers and are not related to suppliers. The three main traps I have seen buyers fall into are: Buyer improvises a project and launches ill-prepared sourcing missions because they cannot secure the right expertise; Buyer gets the first steps right but then hesitates for a long time because of the complexity of the project or because of internal conflicts; Buyer has been waiting for a long time and suddenly gets impatient and makes hurried decisions. This is how these three sourcing traps play out. I am sure you will be able to relate at least to one of them, even if the cases below are a little of a caricature. 1. Improvise Someone decides that it is time to source goods…

  • Elksourcing:Step by Step Guide for Sourcing from China

    Elksourcing:Step by Step Guide for Sourcing from China

    Sourcing From China can be a daunting task, especially for small businesses and first-timers who might not have the means and global resources to establish full-scale overseas operations the way big businesses do. That’s where other sourcing tools come into play. Here is a step-by-step guide that can help businesses like yours get an idea about the various options available out there in the market, and zero-in on the right suppliers to meet your sourcing needs. 1) Look for suppliers Use various sourcing tools to get an overview of the options available in the market. An internet search on sites like Alibaba, Google, etc. can generate great sourcing leads on reliable suppliers. Sourcing magazines & trade shows are also vast sources of information on wholesale distributors, manufacturers and suppliers of products. While social media cannot be used in isolation to identify suppliers or for product sourcing, it can be very useful to…

  • Elksourcing:A Cost Down Guide for Product Sourcing in China

    Elksourcing:A Cost Down Guide for Product Sourcing in China

    Cost down your product sourcing in China is half success of your importing business. As a first-time importer, you need to test your market first with smallest capital at beginning, and put your investment in more important things: marketing & sales. Below is a cost down guide summarized from my experiences of China sourcing business. #1 Start with sourcing one product at a time You can easily find many successfully proven cases that just start with one or handful products, and per the response of the market to decide the next step afterwards. Expanding a product line needs a single product to be proven at the beginning. If you plan to start with a plenty of products, it will be required a lot of time and money to invest. That’s a hard and difficult path to go as a first-time importer or startup. Investing in one product is a good option to…

  • Elksourcing:How to Succeed a Smooth Start to Manufacturing in China?

    Elksourcing:How to Succeed a Smooth Start to Manufacturing in China?

    It’s not easy to start manufacturing your products in China, below are some tips learned from my experiences as a sourcing agent in China. 1. Set-up a mutually beneficial partnership As a start-up, you may not be taken seriously by the big manufacturers, because the volume of business you bring to their table is not significant. So, it is better to source a small/medium sized manufacturer to create an incentive for the manufacturer to work with you. 2. Check references Finding the right manufacturer is difficult. Unlike programmers, few manufacturers have a digital presence. Checking for references is paramount. 3. Take baby steps Start your own manufacturing takes a lot of time and money, you cannot afford mistakes. Depend more on manual labor and low-investment tools in the first few months, gradually increase your investment when your products keep bringing revenue. 4. Research If you are looking for a manufacturer online,…

  • Elksourcing:Why You Cannot Find a Factory to Manufacture Your Products?

    Elksourcing:Why You Cannot Find a Factory to Manufacture Your Products?

    We hear it all the time from importers sourcing from China, “I can’t find a factory to manufacture my products!”  This is especially so when the product you are seeking to source is unusual: you will not have any difficulty finding factories for white T-shirts or running shoes, this only is a challenge if you are trying to source from China a rare or unique product, something your competitors don’t know about or don’t have yet.  Which, of course, is what gives importers a lead in the market place. This happens to both large importers who want to stay ahead of the pack and to small importers who are looking to branch out and find uncommon products.  It seems strange that in the “World’s Factory”, as China is often referred to, it is difficult to find factories to source your product.  I mean, in this day in age, you expect…

  • Elksourcing:Why Buyers Choose to Perform a Factory Audit in China?

    Elksourcing:Why Buyers Choose to Perform a Factory Audit in China?

    After a new factory is sourced in China, most buyers will choose to perform a factory audit, as it is a cost-effective way to make sure the factory is reliable and offers quality products. Based on the ISO 9001 standard, supplier evaluations include many additional benchmarks, giving you robust insights to the way the factory is managed. Before you place any order, learn why a factory audit can save you from making a huge mistake by choosing the wrong factory. Verify Supplier’s Legitimacy Working with suppliers in China comes with risk, but a factory audit from a reputable quality control firm minimizes uncertainties. It’s difficult to verify a supplier’s claims from a distance, in particular without having industry knowledge. A factory audit can ensure that the factory is legal and has all the necessary certification and licenses to be able to sell and export goods. Confirm Supplier’s Product Expertise A factory audit…

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