What is the Importance of Using Sourcing Agents?
When we start a business, we always look to get products with great value for money, and an excellent option is to acquire them abroad. However, you cannot just wake up one day and head to a foreign country that you have never visited before to look for products. Benjamin Franklin once said, “If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail.”
Product sourcing is a complex process that needs meticulous planning and expertise as it determines the success or failure of a business. If planned poorly, it will results in dire consequences at the expense of the business. However, all these mistakes can be avoided when sourcing agents are consulted first.
With the help of a sourcing agent or a product sourcing company, risks can be easily mitigated. A product sourcing agent has advantages to get the best suppliers for your company, because generally living in the same country as the suppliers have more knowledge of the market, and how to perform in it.
A sourcing agent leverages your company for greater potential growth and success. It is possible to identify ‘partners’ from the comfort of your own office, prompting some companies to buy from suppliers at arm’s length. But they miss out on one of the most valuable services in their supply chain.
Qualified sourcing agents introduce expertise capable of saving time and money along every step of the process. From identifying and cost-effective sourcing of materials to conducting audit-level quality control checks, professional sourcing agents devote care to managing their clients’ sourcing needs.
Why Source from Asia in the first place?
The Asian continent has already emerged as the largest sourcing hub with China taking the lead. Countries in South East Asia such as Malaysia, Vietnam, Thailand, India, and Indonesia are a source of new breath in the business market and increasingly identified as favorite sourcing destinations. Improved manufacturing capabilities and low labor costs cement Asian sourcing opportunities as some of the most cost-effective in the world. The countries’ governments have invested immensely in smart manufacturing.
Sourcing agents in Asia can help companies of all sizes source in the region with ease. The scalability and breadth of the resource is particularly beneficial. Whether you have just started searching or are looking to enhance your vendor penetration and supplier management capability, sourcing agents present opportunities that a direct sourcing model may struggle to find.
Below we will mention the benefits of having a product sourcing agent in Asia.
1. Clear and effective communication
One of the primary benefits of having a product sourcing agent is to help you have a clear and effective channel of communication. Clear communication involves someone who speaks your language perfectly as well as the local language.
Contacting a foreign supplier who speaks a different language than yours can delay the sourcing process if not making it complicated. Miscommunication and insufficient quality control can ruin entire shipments and waste hard-earned cash. Therefore, having clear communication with suppliers is essential to get a good business partner, and a product sourcing agent will help you.
2. Trustworthy Suppliers
If you are planning to source from Asia, having a sourcing agent will be useful to help you find legit suppliers. They have a solid ground presence and connections with numerous suppliers. This helps avoid being swindled by fictitious suppliers or engaging with poor quality factory.
If you don’t have visibility of your production until items are fully “produced,” there is a wide margin for error. Qualified sourcing agents and companies can arrange for quality inspection and assurance checks to establish the quality and quantity of products as per the demands of the retailer.
They check the entire sourcing process step by step and they can easily identify any early issues and present viable solutions. From sourcing from certified suppliers to load monitoring inspections, agents can cover your entire supply chain with transparency.
3. Getting the best deals for you
Keep in mind, that a product sourcing agent has extensive knowledge of the local market, suppliers, and factories suitable for your company. Therefore, he will be able to help you get the best possible prices. Good deals mean that your profit margins will be higher and this helps save immensely on costs.
Sourcing agents, especially those with more years of experience, are some of the finest domestic resources for building your new supply chain. For companies that are looking to outsource manufacturing for the first time, entering the market with an experienced sourcing agent will be your ticket towards getting the best deals from suppliers. They know how the system works and will ascertain that your interests are protected qua price and quality.
4. Total Support
Sourcing in a country like Asia can be challenging if you do not have any leads. A product sourcing agent will provide support not only mentally, physically, emotionally but also financially. They assist you to find good suppliers suitable for your company’s needs.
From finding good suppliers to inspecting the products and verifying that they are of high-quality, among others. By speaking the same language the agent is more likely to get better deals.
5. Representation of your company
A sourcing agent will be your representative in matters such as getting and approving product samples, inspecting and verifying that they are of high-quality, negotiating price terms on your behalf, maintaining good supply flow, to mention but a few.
Keep in mind that a product sourcing agent will look after your interests, and will do everything possible to get excellent deals for your company. Some of them do it through the digital media platform, especially if they have a strong digital marketing team.
The benefits of having a product sourcing agent in Asia can’t be overemphasized. While your current capability might be sufficient, you may want to expand your business in the future. Suppliers can have their limitations to take the next step forward and therefore they are unable to meet your needs.
Sourcing agents specialized in your industry will come in handy to help you expand your business by scouting new suppliers. Sourcing agents can also play an integral role in enabling companies to scale their businesses.