China sourcing companies can provide many benefits to entrepreneurs who are interested in bringing products into the United States and other developed markets, whether directly or through a distribution network. However, it’s important to remember that not all companies that claim to be sourcing agents in China are created equal. Here are six things you should keep in mind when working with a china sourcing company.
1) Do they have experience sourcing from China?
It’s important to know that finding reliable China sourcing agents and manufacturers is no easy task. Make sure you find a China sourcing company with experience and expertise working with reputable factories. A good agency will understand what your end-goal is, and how best to get there. They’ll also know how to work around unforeseen setbacks when they arise.
They should be prepared for anything. Like anything, working with an experienced China sourcing agent will take some trial and error; you won’t always hit it off immediately—but that’s okay! You’ll want someone who isn’t afraid of challenges, but knows how to overcome them without sacrificing quality or deadlines.
2) Can you see what other clients are saying about them?
Before you hire a company, check with their previous clients. Are they happy with their services? This will give you an idea of what kind of results to expect. Not all clients are going to be thrilled about every China sourcing agent out there—you want someone who has at least some positive reviews.
A china sourcing agentwill have an online presence with information about their services, as well as feedback from previous clients. It’s common for China sourcing companies to have a LinkedIn profile or website with client testimonials. If you see multiple reviews from recent months (not just a few), that’s generally a good sign.
3) Do they specialize in your industry?
While sourcing companies often offer more than one type of service, make sure that they’re especially familiar with your industry and are not just dipping their toes into it.
For example, if you’re trying to sell your brand of skincare products, look for China sourcing companies that already work with cosmetics companies or that at least have experience selling on eBay.
4) Are their products top quality?
If you’re trying to figure out whether or not your supply chain has any latency or responsiveness issues, find out how fast your product development process is.
If it takes over three months for them to move from concept to production and fulfillment, you may have some problems with their speed. Slow response times often mean missed deadlines and lackluster service; many businesses won’t be able to wait around for products that never show up.
Make sure they can scale with your business needs as they grow; even if they can’t get things done quickly now, they should have plans in place for future growth spurts.
5) How fast do they move on your product development or production schedule?
Fast is good. If you need your product sooner than later, find out how quickly each of your potential sourcing companies will move before making a selection.
As some sorters don’t handle design work and only deal with manufacturing, their ability to move fast on production doesn’t mean much if it comes at the expense of quality design work.
On the other hand, if you’re looking for multiple manufacturers who can meet your supply chain needs over an extended period of time, then moving too fast may cause you problems later on down the line when your suppliers can’t keep up with demand or they provide poor quality products.
6) Is their communication style clear and consistent?
An open line of communication is key when working with Chinese manufacturers. You want your suppliers to be able to give you timely responses, especially if you need something by a certain deadline.
If they can’t get back to you quickly and professionally, then it may be time to move on. Are they easy to reach?: Do they use email? Phone? Skype? A mixture of all three? Whatever their preference, make sure it is easy for you as well.
No matter which direction you choose, remember that finding and working with an overseas sourcing company takes time. Seek out multiple companies, do your due diligence, ask questions, and don’t rush into anything until you are fully confident you’ve found someone who will be an ideal partner for your product launch or expansion overseas. And if you need help along the way, feel free to reach out. We’re here for you!