What Makes a Sourcing Agent Good?
China is the most prominent source for products, however, it’s a complicated market for new importers, so more and more businessmen realize the importance of using a sourcing agent. However, it is difficult to find a trusted sourcing agent in China if you do not know below key parameters of a good sourcing agent.
1) Specialize in your niche
If you want to import many different types of daily consumer products, it is better to choose a sourcing agent that has already sourced similar consumer goods for other buyers.
If you specialize in importing certain industrial products, then find a sourcing agent that focuses on that specific industry.
Because these sourcing agents have accumulated lots of experience and built relationships with many good suppliers in this industry, they can help you in the long run.
2) Know what you will get
You have to inquire more about the sourcing agents to know how resourceful they can be. This would mean knowing their networks, partners and their portfolio.
A good sourcing agent should provide service including certification requirements and product specification confirmation; Research of price, ordering a sample and choosing suppliers who qualify; Affordable rates; Supplier selection; Quality control; Logistic coordination, etc.
3) Close to industry cluster
In China, each city has its own specialized industrial clusters, which are groups of similar and related firms in a defined geographic area.
Therefore, locating close to the industry cluster is convenient to contact with factories and reduce intermediate costs, like shipping costs, quality control fees and so on.
4) Understand the market
A good sourcing agent should have sufficient knowledge of global market, which means they can deliver top quality services.
Moreover, the agent must have knowledge about the quality standard, certification needs and other aspects acceptable in the Western countries.
Hence, it is better if the sourcing agent has offices both in your country and in China to facilitate the supply chain process.
5) With rich experience
Sourcing experience is a vital factor that you should take into consideration. The sourcing agent should be experienced to ensure that you get the best services.
Experience guarantees the agent knows the technicalities experienced in the sourcing process. Thus, the number of years spent in the business turns into proof of track record.
For example, an individual who works as an agent for 10 years can be much more resourceful and more reliable than a sourcing company that only established only several months. This means he has continuously provided his clients with a good quality business.
Other than being knowledgeable in choosing suppliers he should also be extremely skilled in the areas of quality control, logistics and business risk management.