• Elksourcing:Factory Audit and Quality Inspection

    In the practices of sourcing from China, it is crucial to find good suppliers, and control the product quality. To achieve the goals, factory audit is needed to verify the suppliers, and quality inspection is necessary to assure product quality. Factory audit refers to an onsite factory inspection that is carried out on behalf of an importer at the premises of the manufacturer before placing an order to a new manufacturer. Factory Audit is aimed at avoiding getting involved in a bind working with the wrong factory. During the Factory Audit, the auditor records data and takes pictures of all the essential aspects for the importer’s reference for them to have an in-depth feeling and sense about the factory before any contract is signed. Factory Audits are often the last step in the sourcing process. It usually takes place after screening a group of potential suppliers down to the serious ones. …

  • Elksourcing:How to Evaluate Your China Suppliers?

    When you source from China, it is vital to work with suitable China suppliers, but it is uneasy to choose from the long list you find online. How do you evaluate them? Make sure you evaluate the current suppliers’ quality level and status periodically driving them to improve quality continuously. However, make sure you balance quality and costs.  A good procurement process should also ensure a good supply of the materials and inventory management. This is how to do it: (1) Review the supplier’s internal supply chain status and operation level. This includes logistic issues from the raw material channel to finished product shipment. (2) Supervise suppliers to ensure they set up a rigorous scientific internal supply chain operation process and strictly implement it. (3) Establish safety stocks through supplier management inventory and other inventory agreements to avoid material shortages. Inventory quantity should be controlled properly. The above are ideal for…

  • Elksourcing:4 Ways to Find Reliable Suppliers in China

    Many buyers are probably familiar with the stress that comes with finding reliable suppliers in China. Especially, when there are hundreds of suppliers claiming to have what you need. How do you know the suppliers you have chosen are reliable? In this article, I’d like to share you 4 main ways to do it. 1) B2B Sourcing Platforms The biggest platforms are Alibaba, AliExpress, Made-In-China, and Global Sources. Keep in mind that your best prices and long-term relationships with suppliers will unlikely come from these sources. Sourcing platforms are directories, which consist of suppliers who pay fees to have their products displayed on the site. There are thousands of suppliers and millions of individuals browsing them. If you do that math, you’ll realize that many suppliers will get hundreds of RFQs a day, unfortunately for them; more than half of the individuals submitting RFQs are just browsing, or low ballers who…

  • Elksourcing:Background Check on Chinese Suppliers

    I frequently hear the stories about importers who take high risks by not doing any quality control and end up with bad results. In my opinion, the most under-rated tool to reduce risks in China is certainly running a background check on potential suppliers. 1) Choose the right target Do not waste time searching information about the company mentioned in the salesperson’s signature, or on the trade shows’ booth. They might actually steer you toward another company when time comes for payments. Ask for the company name and address that will be mentioned on the invoice. Or, better yet, ask for a pro forma invoice (if both parties already have a good idea of the products & pricing) and look at the company name on that document. 2) Scare unscrupulous companies away Tell potential suppliers that you’ll have their factory audited before any PO is issued, and later their production…

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