Task’s of sourcing agent

If you are a beginner in the field, refer and contact a sourcing agent. Once you have chosen the product you want to manufacture, take the extra step of finding out all the required components and specifications.

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Sourcing April 23rd, 2021 views

Tasks that a sourcing agent performs for an online/small business company:

Recognizing the products

If you are a beginner in the field, refer and contact a sourcing agent. Once you have chosen the product you want to manufacture, take the extra step of finding out all the required components and specifications.

Generate a Product Specification Sheet

Before identifying the suppliers, a sourcing agent will collect all the necessary products and components required for the completion of the job. Most companies prefer to have a detailed discussion with you before taking further action so as to ensure that there is no confusion when a quotation is submitted to the factory.

Even a minor error in your product sheet can lead to a restart of the whole process so ensure that there are no changes or errors in the submitted sheet of products.

Product validation

Compile all the required information about your manufacturing cost and validation the product as this will help you in the future. During the validation process, find out all the compliances and certifications required ( if any) for your product. This is your task as the factories are not aware of the rules and regulations of a particular market because they deal with various firms and companies.

Identify at least 20 prospective suppliers

Make full use of the sourcing lists available as the more number of suppliers you connect with, the higher are your chances of securing a good supplier. This can increase your knowledge and reach.

Narrow your suppliers down to 5

Even though it is a difficult task, it is very vital in nature. Start crossing out the suppliers based on different criteria ( except for price). As your list narrows down much further, take control and think of all the criteria which match your requirements. Do not compromise on what a supplier needs to have in order to be selected.

If you do not like our selection, we will provide you with another 20 suppliers. In India, a wide range
of suppliers are available with a wide range of qualities. All we need to do is to pick them out.

Place sample orders

Now that you have selected your top 5 preferences, reach out to the suppliers and collect their sample product as it will allow you to minutely compare their quality output. At this stage, factor in the price and quality of the product. Try to collect more than one sample from the factory so that you are aware of their general product quality and not just of the model product that you have been sent. Try to collect as many as 10 samples.
The sample cost can be easily recovered so do not worry about that. The one way to procure the spent money is to mention in your contract that the cost will be deducted from the final cost. The other way is to sell the obtained sample online, via Amazon or eBay. This not only recovers your money but also gives you a glimpse of the customer reviews and needs. The sourcing company will then conduct a thorough research about the samples by photographing and evaluating them. They can also send all the samples together, which says a lot of your time and money in the long run!

Negotiate

The next step is to negotiate with your vendor. First, think about the factors that matter to you and then, relay these to your vendor so he knows what to expect. Do not focus on only one goal like a low price. Frequently, lower prices lead to lower quality.

Do not let low prices be your first priority! Instead focus on qualitative factors like special labeling, packaging, and preparations. If you continue to demand lower prices, it is highly likely that the supplier will try to make up the remaining cost by lowering the quality of your goods. This will lead to you getting lower quality goods than you approved.

Identify at least 20 prospective suppliers

Make full use of the sourcing lists available as the more number of suppliers you connect with, the higher are your chances of securing a good supplier. This can increase your knowledge and reach.

Identify your key supplier

Now is the time to narrow all your suppliers to find your key supplier. Refer to the list of factors that you prepared and ensure that your selected supplier provides them all. However, if one or 2 attributes are leading to the cancellation of many suppliers, rethink them.

By this stage, people are tired and sluggish. They give up on choosing the ideal supplier and just settle for a supplier that they think will work. Do not do that! If you are tired, take some rest and restart again. Never settle for less.

Produce production requirements and Purchase Agreements

It’s time to assemble all your documents in your preferred mode – be it Productional Manual or Proforma Invoice – and get the final discussions going. Reach out to your supplier and clearly discuss all your documents so that there is no confusion and misunderstandings.

Purchasing and production agreements should be agreed upon by both parties after they have understood the whole agreement. It should be written in English and signed by both the parties once it is understood. It also helps to have an international business attorney by your side in this process. So contact an international business attorney who has knowledge of the Indian demographic and lean on their support. If you are investing hefty capital , an additional protection is a good law firm. It can really lower your risks.

Make initial payment

Once you are certain and clear, making the payment is the right way to go.

Maintain weekly production updates

Ensure that you are not passive when it comes to checking in. Actively ask the supplier for updates, at least on a weekly basis. Ask the supplier to inform you as soon as an issue or problem crops up so that you can solve it as efficiently and as quickly as possible.

Organize Freight Forwarder collection

Let your freight forwarder be aware of the shipment details as well as your supplier information so that they can arrange a pick up as soon as the production ends.

FBA Organisation and prep

Look into your sourcing strategy and ensure that you have a solid plan to have your commodities marked under and tailored according to Amazon’s requirements. If you would rather use another source, instead of your supplier, talk it out with your supplier before the completion of production.

Quality control

Never ignore this step! It is extremely important to have your goods inspected before they are released in the market. There are different types of inspection and you should choose the one that is tailored to your need. However, do not ignore this step.

Shipment

Ensure that all the produced goods are available to your forwarded and all the necessary documentation is ready. The important documents include custom documents, fees, and information. This is very important to ensure that the goods are safely delivered. Hire a good SCM and he can handle this for you.

The above-explained points are very significant when trying to prepare a sourcing strategy to find a supplier in India. You can always be extra careful and add other points to the above checklist. However, this is considered to be the bare minimum at Guided imports.

As an example for internal sourcing , our purchasing agents add around 15 to 25 points to the above checklist to ensure that their imports from India are safe and secured.