A good sourcing agent, or purchasing agent can play a critical role in conducting smooth and safe business in China, particularly when the order value is very large. Sourcing and also verifying qualified suppliers, loading process supervision, quality control, warehousing, business risk control, shipping support, legal contract support, and also after-sale service, among other things are equally important.
However, finding the right one is not easy. If you do not make a very informed decision while choosing a China buying agent or a purchasing agent, then you may end up losing much more than your commission or service fee.
Let us, first of all understand what we mean by is a China buying agent and why do we need one.
A buying agent can be an individual, or a group of people, or a company that assists companies all over the world in importing from China. Buying office service may also refer to as ‘purchasing agent.’
Any buying office service generally will be assisted by an expert team in each field like
- Quality control
- Business risk management
A good agent is a huge help in the strategy of your total product procurement strategy. The following are a few tips on forming a better relationship with the Chinese suppliers and also the benefits of going through any China buying agent.
- Know our options
Perhaps, Alibaba is likely to be the first place you look for Chinese manufacturers and suppliers. As some of them can be trading companies, verification is essential. Use your detailed supplier information provided by the website to conduct your own due diligence. Make contact with them.
Examine their business licence. Request references. Conduct a background check. Also, cover all of your bases.
You should also go to the factory. You could also hire a China procurement agent to act as your go-between. If you are new to this sourcing from China and also navigating uncharted waters, agent services are normally comprehensive and highly recommended.
- Get adapted to the ways how Chinese conduct business
There are significant differences between Western and Chinese work and business styles. While businesses in Europe and the USA are more likely to enforce strict rules and written principles, businesses in China place a greater emphasis on relationship-building and internal cohesion.
It is critical to establish harmonious relationships with the Chinese supplier from the start. Repeated social interactions can help to maintain mutual understanding and trust, laying the groundwork for a long-term relationship.
An across-cultural comparison will reveal that Chinese businesses are hesitant to share bad news and prefer an indirect mode of communication. Identifying and becoming comfortable with all such nonverbal cues is important.
- Create a strong contract
Having a well-drafted contract by taking the help of China buying agent particularly in Mandarin will safeguard your interest in the company. It must include a certain provision for having informal negotiations so that any disputes can be resolved through arbitration and mediation.
Suing your supplier for any breach of contract can always be difficult, time-consuming, and emotionally draining. Working it out along with your manufacturer will be a better option because you avoid the costs and not have to deal with any legal case that may drag on in court forever.
However, if your supplier is quite uncooperative and also has acted egregiously, you may wish to consider legal action.
- Get the quality assurance that you require
Quality inspection should conjure up images of inspectors physically present on the shop floor, reviewing the production and quality of the product. This person should ideally have prior experience evaluating various tooling and capacity, R&D, technical standards, security, and also working environment.
As the raw materials/components will arrive, a second check is performed before the materials are sent to the assembly lines. Various ongoing monitoring at various stages of production provides additional assurance that your products will actually turn out exactly as what you intended.
- Partner with certain manufacturers that are specialized in the kind of product you sell
Finding a Chinese manufacturer who specialises in your niche item or has experience manufacturing a range of products that you will be selling is a safe bet. In the first instance, the factory will undoubtedly be knowledgeable about your product. Someone who has supplied western companies will be familiar with your requirement.
However, the general rule for conducting quality inspection must apply over here as well. Put everything agreed in writing and make it clear that the manufacturer is fully clear about your specifications. Chinese suppliers, in keeping with their culture, may not actively seek clarification or ask questions.
- Whether to negotiate or not?
The Chinese negotiating style usually is more concerned with the means than the ends. To reach a good compromise, you should certainly have multiple conversations about product quality, price, and terms. Because price efficiency is a significant advantage of Chinese manufacturing, negotiating a lower price or requesting discount must be on the agenda.
However, a word of caution: do not drive the price so low that the supplier cannot go any lower. This price floor is linked to the level of quality. Anything less is almost certainly going to result in a lower-quality product.
- Prompt payments will always be appreciated
Timely payments to vendors, manufacturers, and contractors strengthen the business relationship and can even earn your account preferential treatment over others. Appreciate that Chinese suppliers place a high value on honour and commitment, meeting your contractual obligations will help you avoid problems.
To be certain, you must draft a very strong payment terms and only release payment once you are fully satisfied with the present quality of the shipment. You can also select your preferred method of payment. On-time payments will only benefit your relationship, if your manufacturing partner has fully met your expectations and demonstrated that they value your business.
If you can follow all these tips while dealing with a China buying agent then you will be assured that your business with any Chinese company will move smoothly.