China is known as a cheap source of all kinds of raw and finished goods and therefore, it has generated lots of interest among companies in the West to import from China. This way, they can reduce the cost of their products and be more competitive.
However, China sourcing may not be as easy as you may think. The biggest hurdle is to communicate with the Chinese companies as their internet systems are not properly linked with the world wide web and one can communicate based on certain fixed timing.
Besides that, very few people can effectively communicate in English and that makes China’s source a very challenging job unless you have someone in between you and them who can be a suitable communicator.
Therefore, you will need a certain China sourcing agent who must have the following attributes:
- A qualified person who is familiar with the Chinese market and also aware of your needs.
- He must be able to technically explain your needs to the Chinese companies
- He must be familiar with Chinese business culture, language and also equally proficient in speaking in the English language too.
- He must be very resourceful and have an enterprising quality
- Must be having a good network with many suppliers of China.
- Can maintain cordial business relationships.
- He must be honest enough whom you can trust. You must be able to verify him through your own trusted reference.
However, after you have shortlisted a few numbers of such agents for sourcing China then you must ask the following few questions to satisfy yourself before you hire them.
1. Do you know about the manufacturing process of the product that I need?
Your sourcing agent must be technically qualified to evaluate the quality of your product.
2. How do you communicate with Chinese suppliers?
It is important to know whether to judge any company based only on email communication or through personal interaction.
3. Can you provide at least 3 references who are your customers?
A good agent will readily offer references.
4. When did you start this business?
It will be better to select an agent who has sufficient experience in this line rather than a newbie.
5. Whether you are working as an individual or as a company?
An individual is likely to recommend a supplier based on the kickback and hence better to choose any company.
6. How do you qualify any company as a good source?
It will be good to know what his criteria are while recommending any company.
7. Whether you are familiar with quality checking with the products?
It will be essential to appoint an agent in China who is also familiar with the quality aspects of your product.
8. Can you arrange for a third-party inspection?
Prefer an agent who can arrange for third-party independent testing of your product.
9. How will you charge your fee?
There is a lot of competition in this business and hence it will be interesting to know whether he is charging the rates prevailing on the market.
10. Can you do a quality inspection in the supplier’s factory?
It is preferred if the agent can provide his own setup for testing.