Procurement Specialist and Procurement in China
Importing goods from overseas may be the best and most profitable connection a business can create. But tapping into this supply chain and developing consistent and reliable connections may present a few challenges. Communication is oftentimes the biggest of these challenges. The two most common methods of procuring inventory or merchandise from countries like China are direct trading and hiring a sourcing agent or procurement specialist.
Trading without middleman
Generally, only experienced importers trade directly with overseas manufacturers, because trading directly requires a strong reputation and reliable connections to help expedite purchases. Although larger Chinese suppliers usually have employees that speak English, trouble communicating may occur from time to time.
Another challenge that may arise is order fulfillment. A manufacturer’s minimum purchase (MOQ) may be such a large volume that it’s necessary to get temporary storage. Paying close attention to the import and export laws of the country the goods will be shipping to is also advised. Sites like Ali Baba, Global Sources or HKTDC, have plenty of suppliers and manufacturers you can contact directly.
Using a Procurement Specialist
Procurement Specialists or sourcing agents, specialize in creating reliable business connections between importers and exporters, overseas manufacturers and you. Good sourcing agents make the process of importing worry-free. They take care of communications and settle any problems that may arise with their client’s orders. They suggest products and share the latest trends with their clients so that an informed decision can be made as to what to resell and buy.
Although many of the larger companies have departments and positions designated to handle overseas procurement, there are independent specialists who hire themselves out to small businesses and private parties.
What is right for you?
Finding reliable overseas procurement can be daunting for both eBay newbies and domestic retailers, as well as wholesalers. It’s easy to feel swamped when exploring the option of overseas trading. Even with a list of manufacturers, trouble communicating and lack of knowledge pose major headaches for a do-it-yourselfer attempting to trade directly, and that’s why there is the option of a procurement specialist.
In general, when cutting teeth in the import and export business, it is best to hire a procurement specialist. They increase the odds of a successful and hassle-free transaction, help you learn how to navigate overseas procurement, and give you more time to focus on other points of your business. A trustworthy sourcing agent is sure to be key to the success of a new or established business.