Many people believed that China would be the world’s most important economy in the 21st Century and that it will soon overtake the United States. Even though the relative cost of manufacturing in China has increased in the recent years, the country continues to be the most cost-effective location for American merchants and manufacturers to source goods and components.
Search engines like Google or Bing, as well as B2B sourcing platforms such as Global Sources, Alibaba, and Made-in-China, are the quickest and most cost-effective places to start looking for suppliers in China.
Many suppliers can be easily found on these sites, and thus you can refine your search and boost the number of reputable sources from the results. Smart reviews can help you determine whether a company is legitimate. Service supplier lists and provider blacklists are offered by some B2B sourcing platforms. Alibaba, for example, has a list of unauthorized members.
Some websites also provide exclusive services to any shield customers. For instance, Global Sources offers credit-check and supplier-capability-assessment services, which provide suppliers with critical business information such as company status, production capacity, and product quality.
Businesses are drawn to China because of the country’s rapid expansion as a low-cost manufacturing hub. Although the opportunity is appealing, getting the many elements of a procurement operation in China to work properly is often difficult. Finding high-quality suppliers and negotiating deals with them may be a challenge for companies entering a new market. That is why many companies have become more aware of the significance of hiring strategic sourcing consultants. It is a task that is far beyond an intermediary and offers stability and security to the buying process (sourcing).
Who is a Sourcing Consultant?
Sourcing consultants, also known as strategic sourcing consultants or strategic purchasing consultants are a person or a company that assists another company in importing goods from a specific country. Choosing a trustworthy sourcing consultant with a trustworthy sourcing strategy is critical for successful importing.
A sourcing consultant not only controls the purchase, but also searches for acceptable suppliers. They are knowledgeable, trained in international trade, and, most importantly, have extensive experience in this type of operation. It’s a field of work where experience and data can boost your chances of success.
Any import carries dangers along with it. although they will never be completely resolved with the help of a strategic sourcing consultant, they can be mitigated. Experience in source management is essential for avoiding most errors and, more importantly, knowing how to manage them.
When trading with different countries, factors like language and culture can become a serious disadvantage. As a result, the task of sourcing consultant should be delegated to suppliers and product ordering.
Companies that source items in China recommend that three major difficulties be handled first, with the rest of the issues being remedied subsequently.
Tips for Getting the Right Strategic Sourcing Consultant
Strategic sourcing consultants are needed when companies change their sourcing methods. They assist in getting the most out of the product while ensuring that the pricing is in line with the company’s objectives.
They also put in the effort to establish a long-term relationship between the supplier and the client.
It is vital to hire a trustworthy sourcing consultant. Here are a few tips that can assist you in selecting the best strategic sourcing advisor.
Some companies provide strategic sourcing consulting services. However, the problem is that a handful of those businesses are linked to suppliers. These businesses can only provide services that are relevant to their needs. As a result, their services are useless because you won’t have as many options. So, the idea behind selecting the best sourcing consultant is to go with one that has multiple functions. The consultant should not be associated with any product or service providers.
Review their Training Program Made for your Staff
If you’ve decided to hire a strategic sourcing consultant, make sure you’re looking for the training materials that those consultants have created for your staff. Make sure their training materials reflect all their work and formal coaching. If not, talk to your agent about it and see if you can come up with a good solution.
Leverage their knowledge to get the Right Team
You will need to hire a strategic sourcing manager for your company. That’s the person who will oversee the processes once the training is over. If you don’t have a manager, you can request the strategic sourcing consultant to create a job description that meets all the requirements. The consultant will search for the right sourcing advisor for your organization using their data and resources. Remember, this is an important aspect of strategic sourcing and should be completed as soon as possible.
Review Their Plan
When you’re looking for the right strategic sourcing advisor, make sure you ask several experts to come up with a plan for handling purchasing data. Remember that each strategic sourcing consultant has his unique strategy and can create the finest set up for the company’s objectives. After that, go over those strategies and choose one that appears to be the most straightforward for your company’s expansion.
Don’t Forget About References!
If you’re able to find a reliable consultant for your import business, then you’re lucky. However, if you’re unable to locate any qualified strategic sourcing consultants, here’s what you need to do. Obtain references from a variety of companies who operate in the same product niche. If your relationships with different companies are good, you’ll be able to receive references easily.
If you want someone to help you with the entire sourcing process from beginning to end, choose a sourcing company that can offer a lot of related services, including provider identification, value negotiation, supply management, internal control management, provision and cargo management, and alternative sourcing issues.
Suppliers of sourcing services charge certain costs for managing purchase transactions, however, there are advantages and disadvantages to consider. On the other hand, a sourcing service provider will free you of the burden of finding and validating suppliers, as well as the hassles of manufacturing inspection, product internal control, and provisioning.
However, mistreating such a service deprives you of the opportunity to learn about the Chinese marketplaces. Additionally, the value of hiring a sourcing service provider exceeds that of hiring a commission-based sourcing agent, therefore expect higher direct charges at the outset of the group action.