Sourcing products from China – Best practices

Want to source from China? Here’s how to find the right supplier and the common mistakes to avoid.

More and more companies are importing from China, also known as the “factory of the world”, because of its huge production infrastructure. While the low cost of production is the primary reason why companies decide to import from China, it is not the only advantage. There are many benefits to outsourcing your products to China: increased profitability, better customization options, and the ability to produce in medium to large quantities, to name a few. These and other opportunities have led many companies to choose China as their primary supplier.

While the Internet allows anyone to find a provider on their own, it’s still easier said than done. Choosing the right one among thousands of others can be a real challenge for many companies.

The first step is to always ensure that you are dealing directly with the supplier, not with a middleman or trading companies. You must have excellent knowledge of your production centers, communication skills to negotiate the best deals and avoid any potential mistakes resulting from miscommunication.

What you don’t know when looking for a supplier can greatly affect or even harm your business. The possibility of getting ripped off or getting substandard products is especially high if you have no experience in this area.

“To know what one knows and what one does not know, that is true knowledge.”

Confucius 

Unless you have assigned a team to oversee the sourcing process, deciding to find your own supplier can be a long shot. With a dedicated sourcing team that speaks the same language as your contacts, you can ensure that your specifications are met, that the manufacturer’s workmanship is good, and that the product meets standards through in-person visits and quality control/ insepection. Sourcing is more than just placing an order and setting a delivery date. Poor coordination and management of the supply chain can seriously impact your bottom line.

In addition, if you need several suppliers for your business, you have to spend a good part of your time dealing with each supplier separately and this taking into account the time difference with China. It is for these reasons that many companies use procurement agents.

A sourcing agent works in your best interest and helps you avoid unnecessary risk in your sourcing. Hiring the right sourcing agent means immediate access to a selection of top Chinese manufacturers. They will take the time to consult with you in a transparent process that will allow you to choose the right supplier. When looking for a sourcing agent, make sure they have a physical presence not only in France but also in China.

With the right procurement agent, you can: 

  • Prepare a list of product specifications, translated into Chinese, for the good understanding of the manufacturers and based on your instructions.
  • Boost your profitability by increasing your margin through negotiation.
  • Devote your time to your business instead of focusing on tedious internet searches to find a manufacturer. 
  • Bridge the cultural gap. Ideally, a Chinese sourcing agent should speak Mandarin.
  • Better coordination of delivery times that allows you to avoid a stockout.
  • In-person visits by your agent to ensure the quality and standards of your product. 
  • Quality and quantity control of goods during production and/or before packaging.
  • Customized labeling and packaging.

RM China sourcing is your sourcing agent that can help you source and manufacture your products in China. We are a team of French-Chinese experts who work with e-tailers, such as Amazon sellers, importers and other companies. If you have any questions about sourcing in China, please contact us at contact@rm-sourcing.com.

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