China has the biggest manufacturing factory of any other state across the globe. It is also known as the “World’s Factory” and drives the nation’s economy.
China is the most important manufacturers of industrial items with low cost and good quality. Therefore, sourcing from China might be the best decision if you want to have a cost-effective business. However, mixed business and language barriers can be a hurdle for different foreign clients.
Here is how the sourcing agent would help you out. If you are new to sourcing, let us brief you. In simplest terms, a sourcing agent is the third party who helps you find the right suppliers within the desired state. They are familiar with the merchandise practice and its customs; they can speak their language too. The question arises, which is the best fit for your merchandise.
Things To Ponder On While Choosing The Sourcing Agent
While selecting the sourcing agent, keep in mind a few things:
Location of the sourcing agent
Search for the location of the sourcing agent while looking over the Google list of the sourcing agents within china. Lookup for them and see if they are locals or foreigners having an office in China. The reason is, handling a foreigner is way easier than the local person there because china has strict internet rules.
These rules and regulations check the credentials of the Chinese sourcing agent difficult. While choosing a foreign sourcing agent, see if he has a well-staffed office in the Chinese state. Check the operation time and all the track records before sealing a deal.
Experience of the sourcing agent
There is a wide difference in the way businesses in the west and Chinese businesses operate. The differences can be attributed to the differences in mindset, customs, and culture. Therefore, it is better to select a sourcing agent who has years of experience working in China. In addition, the person having more experience would have a bigger network of authentic contacts that can benefit your merchandise.
Check for references
Authentic references are everything; thus, choose an agent that has them. Ensure to bring out some time to have a conversation with these references in detail and check their websites. Check their work period with the sourcing agent and the quality they deliver. Finally, ask for their suggestion about the sourcing agent.
Get the required documentation
The sourcing agent must provide you with all the necessary documentation for the shipping or sourcing process. The language on the documents will help you understand the well-versed nature of the agent in this entire procedure. The documents may include Bill of Landing, Certificate of Origin, detailed packing list, and Fumigation Certificate.
Check their dealing with the quality issues
No matter where the product came from, its quality is the business owner’s priority and his clients. Ask the sourcing agent about the measures they have in dealing with the quality matters. Tell them strictly that you cannot afford any issue in the quality.
Ask for their license
Businesses in china require a license because of the strict rules and regulations. Here, you can have only one piece of merchandise with a certain license. Therefore, check the license before working with the agent.
Check their language proficiency
An agent who can fluently speak and write Mandarin and English is considered an ideal sourcing agent. However, the Chinese staff knowing English is a plus because you might need to address them often.
Expertise on the item you’re required
Everyone has their area of expertise. Check for the expertise of your sourcing agent and opt for the one having your required area of expertise. Ask them for the previous records or their clients for authentic references.
Go for the sourcing agent having high moral values
Good ethics or high moral values of an agent can play a vital role in bringing your merchandise up in the sky. The agent needs to have the ability to take kickbacks from the suppliers because this is what they have signed up for. These types of agents can find your suppliers instantly. However, you can ask for the quality of the product beforehand to make sure it meets your standards.
Choose The Best Agent For You
Document all the details that you need from the supplier and the agent. Make sure everything meets your needs.
Set your budget and act accordingly. However, do keep a margin because unexpected expenses can crop up anytime.
You can select single-sourcing agents, sourcing agencies, or sourcing and logistics companies as per your requirement because every company has its pros and cons. Choose wisely.