Take your Business to Newer Heights with the Right Chinese Sourcing Company
China is one of the popular manufacturing hubs for outsourcing products. Low labour costs, innovative technologies, and hi-tech opportunities is what makes the majority of countries flock to China. Now, given the hype of the Chinese sourcing market, it is quite easier for amateur or novice businessmen to succumb to fraudulent suppliers. Here is where sourcing agents can prove to be resourceful.
Understanding the Need for Outsourcing
Outsourcing is a serious business. If you are not sure whether your business requires outsourcing, then you might need to research other options. So, how can you determine if your business would be an apt fit for outsourcing to any Chinese sourcing company?
So, below are certain basic questions you might need to ask yourself before you think about outsourcing projects to China.
- Is your business small, medium, or large?
- Do you have the necessary budget to outsource to China?
- Will you be able to search for Chinese suppliers yourself or do you require sourcing agents?
- What are the Chinese regulations when it comes to sourcing?
- Is your country or business eligible for the Chinese outsourcing market?
- Are you aware of your products’ quality standards?
- How would you inspect the quality control in China?
- Do you have necessary resources to conduct quality inspections, or would you need to hire companies?
- Which would be the right sourcing company for your business requirements?
If you have the answer to the above questions, then you are all set to hire Chinese suppliers. If you are a small business, you can opt for trading companies that deal with multiple products from different suppliers. This is apt for small orders that do not have MOQs’.
Secondly, in addition to checking for business regulations and laws in China, you also need to be aware of your country’s import regulations. Ensure that you have all the paperwork in hand when you search for any credible Chinese sourcing company.
You also need to be aware of the payment terms sought by many of the Chinese suppliers. The most common form of payment is a Letter of Credit (LOC). You might need to research all types of payment terms before you choose the best that suits your requirements.
Now, another barrier that you might come across while searching for Chinese suppliers is communication. Not many suppliers are fluent in English, and this can prove to be a hindrance while negotiating. Here is where you might need to look for sourcing agents to act as a mediator between you and the suppliers.
Sourcing agents are your best option if you do not have time to research Chinese suppliers. An experienced supplier will have good networking skills and through his contacts will help you find the right suppliers based on your requirements. Sourcing agents are in China, and they can visit the factory or premises and inspect the working conditions of your suppliers.
In addition to this, they can also:
- Help you in verifying the credentials of the suppliers
- Help you with customs, shipping, and logistics
- Save you time and money by sharing multiple estimates from credible suppliers
- Help you with quality checks and inspections and share reports on the same
- Ensure that the production is completed on time without compromising on the product quality
- Sourcing agents will be well-versed in the Chinese business culture and can help you maintain your relationship with the suppliers
Now, the important question that arises is whether you should hire a sourcing agent. Well, this again depends on your requirements. If you have no time to invest in searching for suppliers or dealing with loads of paperwork, then sourcing agents are your safest bet.
Questions to Ask You’re Sourcing Agents
Like in case of any new hire, you simply cannot sign a contract with the first sourcing agent company or individual that pops up on your search engine. You need to do your homework and work with the agents that best suits your business requirements and of course your budget.
Ensure that you ask a lot of questions. This will help you get a better insight into how patient the agents are and how experienced they are in their line of work. Some critical questions that you might want to ask would be:
- How long have they been in business?
- Where are they located?
- Are they willing to share the factory address?
- Do they have experience in working with similar businesses as yours?
- Can they share references for the same?
- Do they work individually or as a team?
Ask your Chinese sourcing company to explain the manufacturing process. This will allow you to assess how well the company understands your requirements and come up with a list of credible suppliers for you to work with.
A credible sourcing company will be as transparent as possible. They will share their opinions if they find any issue with your requirements. Stay away from companies that boast about their skills or achievements.
You might also want to ask them about their fees. The common fee structures include:
- Commission based
- One-time fee for finding the suppliers
- Flat fee depending on weekly or monthly basis
- Fees after completion of your orders
Ensure that you and the sourcing agents are on the same page when it comes to the payment terms. If there are any questions or queries regarding the payment, ensure that you clear it immediately.
In addition to this, you can even ask the below questions:
- Do they do any factory audits or quality controls?
- If yes, how many reports will you receive from them?
- Do they accept any discounts or offers while charging commission?
- How do they handle delayed shipments or poor-quality products?
- Can you have a copy of their business license?
- How frequently will they update you on the production status?
All the above questions will be able to give you a better understanding of whether you will be working with the right Chinese sourcing company.
When it comes to choosing a sourcing agent in China, you want to have all your bases covered. The right sourcing agent can help you get the right suppliers and take your business to greater heights.