Global trends show us that importers and buyers all over the world have been working hard over the past years to implement direct sourcing strategies. This strategy is often easily justified by the savings generated through direct sourcing. But cutting out intermediaries usually results in an increase in workload for foreign teams of buyers.
Is hiring a China purchasing agent still relevant with the current communication tools, globalization of international business practices and current challenges that China is facing? There is no definite YES or NO answer. It mostly depends on one’s business strategy, resources and priorities. But the following points will identify the upsides and savings generated when dealing with a purchasing agent in China.
1) A China purchasing agent improves efficiency
Right location equals savings when buying from China
Operating in the same country as vendors, a China Purchasing Agent gathers comprehensive intelligence about how to build or enhance supply chains, dispersed manufacturing in China.
Access and intensive use of huge supplier databases and networks, whether they are global or local, through their purchasing agent is a great asset for companies buying in China.
When ordering with suppliers spread across the country, consolidating shipments, making the right choice of warehousing location may generate significant cost and time savings.
Understanding what lays behind the screen is key to success in China
As any other businesses on the planet, Chinese factories and vendors put a lot of effort in convincing prospective buyers to deal with them. But when it comes to assessing vendor’s strengths and weaknesses, smoke screens or half-truths may create unexpected delays later on.
Most serious purchasing agents have their own filtering systems in place to identify inconsistencies or even non truths early during the sourcing process.
Faster access to accurate information generates savings
A China Purchasing Agent employs professionals from the Sourcing and Procurement industry who are proficient in English and other languages. Moreover, they accurately articulate potential opportunities, gains, pitfalls and limitations with a more pro-active attitude.
Communication efficiency generate time savings as well as minimizes risks. As each order in China may include complex setups, multiple vendors and references, the gain in clarity and efficiency directly creates value.
2) Well-managed purchasing in China boosts growth
Right sources + Right Processes = long-term success
A Purchasing Agent in China not only brings skills and workpower to your team, but also a fresh look at a business’ supply chain in China and its efficiency. Purchasing professionals experience and commitment to build and enhance supply chains that utilize the right vendors, processes and safeguards are a great asset to ensure long-term growth.
Consolidating information and goods
Another direct positive effect of dealing through a China Purchasing Agent is that the information is consolidated in one place, and usually passed on between a few people who learn to achieve efficiency in their day-to-day interactions.
Consolidation of goods is another advantage that generates savings. Projects involving multiple vendors and delivery points are more complex to process. Seasoned china purchasing agents can solve a lot of headaches when it comes to shipping schedules and enforcing packaging consistency for example.
When caution is combined with seizing opportunities
Purchasing is not all about cost, savings and efficiency. A big part of a purchasing company operations is to evaluate, set up and enforce safety and quality standards. This part of the job may create obstacles to cost or time savings, but they take into account the risk of dealing with vendors out of the buyer’s reach.
However, quality assurance and risk-management can generate profitable outputs such as : help sales in decreasing the need for after-sale, decrease in defects rate, product features enhancement and such.
While hiring a purchasing agent in China may be debatable depending on the business needs, organizational and development strategy, the reason why so many buyers are dealing with China Purchasing Agents is that they bring efficiency and participate to generating growth.
Some foreign businesses may need to dig deeper to find the right vendors, the right product. An agent is well positioned and located to identify the right suppliers in China. Some foreign business may need to move volumes through borders. A purchasing company will help by handling the complexities of consolidation and international shipping.