China is a vastly populated nation where coming across efficient and cost-effective sourcing, however, for new importers, it is daunting considering the far distance and vast culture difference.Sourcing agents play a great hand in the success of a sourcing strategy of a company. With the help of sourcing companies, organizations can lower the prices of their products while focusing on key operations. Seek help from sourcing agents if you want to accelerate the growth of your organization.
Firstly, observe the market condition
The concept of perfect market exists solely in academic books and economic theories. The concept of marketing service in China does not function in perfect market situations. The exercise of marketing strategies depends on the supplier’s expertise and strength of resource. Transactions are often affected by information asymmetry which leads to market failure. Therefore, you should never think of paying a sourcing agent on an hourly basis; you incur loss in this process. Novice entrepreneurs and marketing personnel are an easy catch for high cost vendor companies. However, you have to remember that you can gain high quality result and that too on time from some of the low budget sourcing companies.
Secondly, emphasize on increasing efficacy by reducing cost of alignment
Sometimes, you might have to opt for a costly vendor despite having access to reasonably charging sourcing companies. This is because; the costly sourcing agency understands your business much better than the agency that charges less. Hiring a low-cost company entails investment on vendor alignment. Making the agents aware of the needs and tone of communication involves a lot of time as well as energy which could otherwise be used in earning revenue. You do not have to unnecessarily spend time and effort if you hire a sourcing company which is well aligned to your requirements and working style.
It is necessary for all organizations to stick to the below-mentioned factors while identifying the right sourcing agents:
1). Excellent Communication Skills:
Professional procurement experts must have fluency in English. If they have a strong grasp of English communication skills, it will not be difficult for them to talk with clients. Good English writing skills are also required in most cases. It will lead to smooth communication that will further play a great hand in developing cooperation and thereby, resulting in a seamless workflow.
If sourcing agents speak confidently in English, it will reflect their trustworthiness. Organizations that are likely to conduct procurement activities in Chinese markets can put faith in them. This will also make organizations get a fair idea about their quality of services. Apart from this, a good sourcing agent must be prompt enough to reply to the emails. As China has a huge time difference with the U.S., the sourcing companies of China must be highly-efficient to respond to the queries of overseas clients.
2). Assess the Requirement:
This is the most important aspect while selecting procurement agents. More often, organizations overlook their needs and focus on other aspects. A sourcing agent must understand the requirements of his client within a short span of time. Moreover, professional procurement agents should address the needs of clients to the suppliers in an effective manner.
If organizations present their product ideas to the procurement agents in a lucid mode, it will result in better outcomes. It is a sourcing agent, who communicates with factories on behalf of suppliers. If these agents fail to understand the needs of companies, it will take a long time to modify the product.
3). Deep Product Knowledge:
Generally, sourcing experts have deep knowledge regarding their areas of expertise. They are able to give suggestions to the companies about the best sourcing measures. Procurement agents are generally of two types. One kind assists organization in finding specific products while the other one specializes in finding goods for daily needs. It is up to the business firms to decide which sourcing agents they would go with. It is desirable to select a procurement agent who has deep product knowledge. If professional experience is added to this, it can work wonders for organizations. The sourcing agents of China have tons of experience in the procurement domain.
There are many customers who want to procure products and services they have a sound knowledge of. These agents must keep them updated about the latest sourcing trends. They also must give advice to the business firms regarding how to streamline their operations while going with the flow. Their knowledge and domain expertise should at least match with the customers. While communicating with customers, professional sourcing agents can understand the requirements of clients in a better way.
There are some procurement agents who deal with an extensive range of products. They also have a huge network with the best suppliers and cooperative factories. More often, organizations feel the difficulty while formulating sourcing management strategies if there are different categories of products. Versatile sourcing agents are an asset to organizations as they specialize in offering various types of products and services.
4). Experience in Import and Export Activities:
Sourcing agents need to have a proper idea of the legal framework during import and export operations of companies. Import and export activities require a lot of paperwork in the form of document requirement, certificate, and licenses. It is even better if the procurement agents have a fair idea about international transportation.
There are various products that are transported by air or by sea. In such cases, the compliance certificate is necessary for organizations to conduct trading operations and procurement agents must know about this fact. Moreover, they also should have adequate knowledge of patents so as to avoid all sorts of hassles while importing products.