China started to become the world's factory in the early 2000s, attracting western buyers with tax exemptions and various industrial zones. Unparalleled industrial supply chain integration and logistical capabilities solidified the country's image as the leading exporter in the world.
China remains the preferred sourcing destination for a large majority of buyers in western countries. Whether you're a business owner or purchasing manager, you have one goal: to find high-quality products at a fair price. Your business's profitability will be enhanced if you can find cost-effective products.
In this article, we will tell you the tips to build your China purchasing strategies.
1. Make sure you are clear about your goals
You must give your suppliers detailed specifications of the products you are looking for to make the sourcing process successful. Make sure you are clear about the product specifications that you desire. Don't assume that anything is implied. Doing business in China can be very different from doing business elsewhere.
Failure to give detailed specifications could lead to confusion, and you may end up with something that is not what you ordered. It will cost you a lot of money and time to get the right products.
If possible, provide detailed drawings. You may also send a sample or prototype if you are manufacturing your designed product. You should provide written specifications if you need to make any changes.
2. Before placing an order, request a sample
Even if you provide detailed instructions, there is always the possibility that the products you receive might not meet your expectations. You can avoid this by ordering a product sample before placing your order.
The first sample may not meet the specifications that you receive. If the product doesn't meet your specifications, note it down and inform the manufacturer. Your feedback will allow the manufacturer to improve and make the next round of samples. They should not proceed with production until you are satisfactory to the final samples.
It is also important to give an accurate estimate of how many goods you will require. If you are a valued business source, the manufacturer will pay more attention to your order. They may not respond if they think you will only place small orders.
Take the time to try the product out after you have received it from the manufacturer. You must ensure that the products meet your customers' requirements. It is possible to give the sample to employees within your company to get their honest feedback.
3. Quality control
Quality control is very important when sourcing products in China. If you can inspect the factory in person, it will be great. If that is not possible, it's good to hire an independent quality inspector. It would help if you asked your agent to help you find a trustworthy quality inspection agency.
It is necessary that you get an independent report from the quality inspector on the product's quality. Be careful whom you hire. Do not hire anyone without thoroughly verifying their credentials first.
It would help if you created a quality control plan, so sample inspections, incoming quality inspections, in-process inspections, pre-shipment inspections, and container loading checks are all arranged systematically. To ensure your quality control plan runs smoothly, you may need to visit China's factories periodically, so you can also verify the quality documentation of your supplier.
Remember, eventually you are responsible for ensuring quality of the products you sell. As a client, understanding the following is helpful:
Procedure of selecting suppliers - Check if the supplier's track record, licensing, and certifications are verified. It is important to make enough effort to select reliable manufacturers for your sourcing needs.
Factory visit - You or your agent should visit the factories to see the production process. You should know the factory's capacity, lead times, capability, quality level, and key clients they work with.
Quality certificates – You must verify that the quality certificates issued by manufacturers are authentic. Some Chinese factories may forge certificates, do not fall for these scammers.
4. Be realistic about pricing
One of the main attractions of sourcing from China is its pricing. The low prices you can find in China are unmatched by domestic prices. But remember that you get what you pay.
Chinese manufacturers are able to produce affordable goods because of their low labor costs and technological advances. Avoid the cheapest goods. Manufacturers may make Low-quality products, but these products might not be of high quality.
The Chinese manufacturing market is also booming. Every day, new factories and manufacturers are being created. Although they may be willing to produce your goods at dirt cheap rates, they will compromise quality. Established factories will offer goods of better quality but at a higher cost. Pricing is an important consideration when sourcing from China. However, pricing should not be the only factor.
By searching online, you will get multiple quotes from different manufacturers. Do not focus on the lowest price. Choose factories with a track record of providing quality services to companies like yours.
You must deliver high-quality products if you want to grow your business and increase the loyalty of your customers. Only partner with suppliers who offer high-quality products at a competitive price. They may be more expensive, but they are well worth the extra cost.
5. A sourcing company is recommended
Sourcing companies help you perform outsourcing in China. A great sourcing company will manage the entire sourcing project, help you get quotes from trustworthy manufacturers, and ship the products to your warehouse.
A trustworthy sourcing company can handle various situations happening in sourcing process. They will help you locate reliable manufacturers that pay attention to details, and ensure that the manufacturer is clear about your requirements. It is the responsibility of the sourcing company to provide you with a sample product that can be fine-tuned according to your specifications and design.
You should choose an experienced agent who has staff in China. They will be fluent in the local dialects and business practices and will also know how to communicate with them. The agent will help you find reliable suppliers or manufacturers with the right product expertise.
Choose the right sourcing company for you. They will take care of all your outsourcing concerns, allowing you to spend your time on your business's most important activities.
6. What can a sourcing company do for you?
A sourcing company can help you find the right supplier and meet your product purchasing needs. Sourcing companies offer the following services:
- Market research
- Supplier selection
- Price negotiation
- Order processing
- Sample check
- Manufacturing control
- Quality control
- Product inspections
- Product development
- Product consolidation
- Shipping coordination
- Customs clearance
and many other things.
Often, sourcing companies are near potential suppliers and speak the same language. They are also familiar with local customs. So, they are quite helpful for all kinds of sourcing activities in China.
The best sourcing company in China acts as a valuable ally in supporting business growth. Take the time and effort to find the right company for your needs. If possible, always visit them at their office. After the agent has come on board, try to build a good relationship with the project manager who will be handling your account.
An experienced sourcing company will help you understand the business model of Chinese manufacturing companies. It will give you valuable information about the licenses and certifications that are required before ordering products from China. Before you hire an agent for your company, make sure to do your research. The benefits of sourcing from China will outweigh any risks quickly if you find and use the right agent.