After frustrations of dealing with China factories directly, more and more importers realize it is necessary to use a China sourcing agent on the ground to many daily matters and make their life easier. What specifically can a China do for you? Here are some main areas.
1) Search suppliers
Many people know how to visit online sourcing platforms such as Alibaba, Global Sources and Made in China to search suppliers, however, it is very time-consuming work, there are hundreds of suppliers all claiming making the same products, but most of them are traders and some of them are not good. It’s a daunting job to communicate with the suppliers and find out the good one.
This is exactly what a sourcing agent can help. The professionals have rich experience and solid sourcing background, so they can find out the best suitable direct manufacturers in the right area, with good quality and fair price.
2) Verify suppliers
Once a shortlist of suppliers is there, the sourcing agent needs to verify their credentials, including:
Whether they are indeed direct factories not traders.
Whether they have the technical expertise and production capability to deliver what they say they can deliver.
Whether they have good quality system.
Whether they own adequate capacity.
Whether they have healthy financial status.
3) Source products
A professional sourcing agent can source products based on real connections during their working experience, they only use verified direct manufacturers and keep everything transparent. The professional will try to find out products that are both affordable and high quality to meet your needs, they possess this kind of expertise to help you.
4) Make samples
When a supplier is selected and you want to proceed with a project, it is important to create samples or prototypes to prove the concept works and the quality is good. It is very risky to place an order without checking the samples.
In some cases, the samples do not meet your requirements, China suppliers usually will explain like “they are just samples, mass products will be good” and so on. Be cautious about the explanations and try to look deeper, it is better to get 2nd round of good samples before you invest lots of money. A good sourcing agent will monitor the sampling process and try to get good samples before they leave China, so as to save your time, and provide extra assurance to quality.
5) Arrange payments
Scheduling and coordinating payments are tricky tasks for people who are new to sourcing business in China. Also, it is time consuming and costly if you need to arrange multiple payments to various suppliers. Then, you can ask for help from a sourcing company, the organization can do multiple payments on behalf of you and handle all communication work to make the whole process in an effective and efficient manner.
6) Do quality inspection
If you pay for quality goods, then you deserve to receive good quality products as promised by China suppliers. Therefore, quality inspections are crucial to your success. Some manufacturers cut corners when dealing with foreign firms if there are no 3-rd party inspectors to monitor them. Make sure you always emphasize to your suppliers that you will use a professional sourcing company to check the quality before production, during production, and before shipment.
7) Consolidate products
A good sourcing company has combination of product range and experience. When you need a variety of products, you need many suppliers, then, it is very difficult to manage the logistic because to collect the products from various areas (considering China is such as huge country!) and arrange sea shipment. But it is manageable for a sourcing company, as they have associated warehouses and networks to arrange land transportations, collect products from different factories, consolidate them and put in the same container. Lots cases prove that by doing this way, the clients can save much money, time and hassles.