You can easily search for thousands of suppliers and products on Alibaba, an online marketplace in China. However, it might be a time-consuming process to pick the right supplier with the right products. Hence, having a procurement agent would be a nice idea to source the goods efficiently.
How to find a good procurement agent? Here are some key factors to check before selecting a procurement agent.
1. Reputation of the company
You can read reviews, news and complaints about the company on platforms like Alibaba. Also remember that even the best agents will make mistakes occasionally. So if you find any negative comments or warning signs regarding their services, it would be helpful to take note for your reference later on during scrutiny.
2. Experience in sourcing business
There are two main reasons for this factor: firstly, procurements follow different procedures according to products; secondly, suppliers' price ranges vary for each industry type (i.e., chemical industry vs clothing). Thus an agent with real procurement experiences will handle the sourcing tasks more professionally.
3. Language skills
If your business involves English language communications, make sure that your procurement agent has a good command of written and spoken English. This is to ensure prompt responses during negotiations, especially when there are problems or unsolved issues during the sourcing process.
4. Knowledge of government regulation and law
Many international trade activities must follow local customs and laws, so it's important for a procurement agent to be fully aware of such rules and regulations regarding products you want to source from China. It would be very helpful if he/she can provide some advisory opinions regarding such matters as well
5. Process flow efficiency
You should know about the overall whole process including how to find a supplier, how to negotiate with suppliers and factories, and the differences between FOB and CIF prices. Also, ask the following questions: How many sourcing steps does your procurement agent need? Will you visit production facilities by yourself? Do they work directly with suppliers or just do quality checks of products and then order delivery from factories for you?
It's not always true that an experienced service provider is better than a less experienced firm. Companies that intend to minimize risk usually look for new small firms that can offer reasonable prices and lower risks. Sometimes big and well-known companies sign contracts with smaller agents because a good reputation is more important than the number of orders received.
You can find a lot of suppliers and products on your own but why do you want to go through the troubles when the procurement agent can help? The experience of sourcing from China can be difficult without a reliable agent. However, with so many options and bad suppliers, it is easy to find yourself spending too much time on finding good quality products for your company when you should really focus elsewhere instead! A professional who has knowledge about the local market will save both their clients as well as themselves plenty of headaches by picking out only those companies they know are reputable in this area - cutting down search times significantly while ensuring that all potential purchases meet certain standards before being accepted onto inventory or released into production.
MWT will help you to find the right product in the right place
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