When it comes to sourcing and manufacturing, Asia is the place to be. With cheap labor costs, access to raw materials, and a willingness to work that doesn’t exist in other parts of the world, Asian countries have become the go-to locations for companies looking to build their products as cost-effectively as possible. However, with so many manufacturers and suppliers in these countries, how do you know which one is right for you?
If you’re new to sourcing from China or other Asian nations, you may feel overwhelmed by all the different options available to you. To help you make the best decision for your business and your company’s specific needs, here are some tips on how best to approach sourcing an agent in China.
Why Hire an Agent in China?
As the world’s leading manufacturer, China produces a staggering amount of goods every year. In 2017 alone, China’s manufacturing output was valued at $2.26 trillion USD — that’s more than 19% of the global total! With such a large and booming manufacturing industry, it’s no wonder that so many companies are looking to source their products from China.
However, as any experienced sourcing professional will tell you, working with Chinese suppliers and manufacturers can be a challenge. The language barrier, cultural differences, and time zone difference all make communication and coordination difficult. In addition, there’s the risk of getting ripped off by unscrupulous suppliers who may take advantage of your inexperience.
This is where a sourcing agent comes in. A sourcing agent is a professional who helps companies source and procure products from China (or other countries). They act as a middleman between the buyer and supplier, helping to coordinate communication, negotiate prices, and ensure that the products are manufactured to the buyer’s specifications. In other words, they take on the hassle and risk of dealing with Chinese suppliers so that you don’t have to.
If you’re new to sourcing from China, working with a sourcing agent is a good way to minimize your risk and increase your chances of success. However, it’s important to note that not all sourcing agents are created equal. There are a lot of fly-by-night operations out there that will take your money and run, so it’s important to do your research before selecting an agent to work with.
Research Before You Go
Before you start working with a sourcing agent, it’s important to do your homework and research the market. This will help you better understand what you’re looking for in a sourcing agent, as well as what to expect in terms of pricing and lead times.
To get started, try conducting a Google search for “China sourcing agents”, “sourcing companies in China” or “Product engineering services” This should give you a good starting point for your research. Once you have a list of potential agents, take some time to read online reviews and see what other companies are saying about them.
It’s also a good idea to check out the agent’s website and see what type of services they offer. Most reputable agents will have an up-to-date website with detailed information about their services and process.
Finally, try reaching out to the agent directly and see how responsive they are. A good agent should be able to answer your questions in a timely and professional manner. If they seem evasive or uninterested, it’s probably best to move on to another option.
Hiring a sourcing agent is a good way to minimize the risk and hassle of sourcing from China. However, it’s important to do your research and select a reputable agent who can meet your specific needs. With a little time and effort, you should be able to find a quality agent who will help you source the products you need at a competitive price.