What Does a Sourcing Agent Do in Procurement Strategy?
For new importers who want to source from China, it’s highly recommended hiring a sourcing agent. Mentioned below are the activities of a professional sourcing agent.
1. Conduct research on suppliers
Sourcing agents maintain a database of suppliers. The database consists of names of the companies, the owners, their contact numbers, e-mail id, website URL, office address and address of then supplier’s store. The agents conduct a thorough research on the suppliers’ products and decide which supplier is suitable for you. Some suppliers sell only a certain type of products. Agents can approach niche suppliers if you want to purchase niche products.
2. Negotiate prices
After having selected some suppliers, the agents speak to them in person. This is the time when they discuss about prices. Agents negotiate prices with suppliers on your behalf. The suppliers, who agree to offer products at your preferred rate, are selected for further consideration.
3. Communicate full details
Hiring a sourcing agent in China is useful to ensure clear communication with the suppliers. The Chinese agents can speak with the suppliers in Chinese. If you send a representative from your country, the business dealings may not favor you. An outsider can easily be made to agree to a high purchasing price because of communication gap. On the other hand, a local sourcing agent China can cleverly handle dealings and avoid being manipulated.
4. Verify quality of product
A sourcing agent with offices in China can offer you complete insight into the quality of the products you are about to buy. They can send their representatives to check the products at the warehouse of the supplier. Since, the agencies have offices in China; the quality experts have no difficulty in traveling to different supplier warehouses. By checking the products, they can determine if the quality caters to international export standards.
5. Check compliance with regulations
A reliable sourcing agent employs tax experts who can inform you about the tax regulations in China and in your country. Tax experts can offer you knowledge about the compliance of the products with the tax norms of both nations.
6. Assist in transportation
Sourcing agents work in close collaboration with freight companies. The freight company transports goods from the warehouse to the dockyard. Sometimes, a supplier takes the responsibility to transport goods to the dockyard. In such cases, the freight company handles only the shipping of the products from the supplier’s country to the buyer’s country.
A good sourcing agent can offer manifold services to you, they can assist you with the right procurement strategy.