As a business owner, you are aware of your market and the demands of your customers. However, if you decide to source your merchandise from a low-cost region, you must know which manufacturer you should contact. You should be able to source the right product at the right price for your business from him/her. If you have very little idea about such a low-cost market from where you wish to procure goods, you may make costly mistakes. To avoid these mistakes and get a reliable supplier, you should hire a sourcing and procurement consultant.
Such A Consultant Helps You In More Than One Way. Some Benefits Of Hiring Sourcing Consultants Include The Following:
- They help you find reliable suppliers who will sell your goods at the best price.
- The sourcing agent helps in bridging any cultural or communication gap.
- Such an agent reduces your risk significantly.
Now you have understood the importance of a sourcing agent, the next step is to figure out how to find the right one for your business.
Tips To Find A Reputable Sourcing And Procurement Consultant
Here Are Some Steps, Which You Should Follow To Get The Right Sourcing Consultant For Your Business.
List Your Requirements
You have to first make a list of what you want to get from your sourcing and procurement consultant. Business practices differ sharply in various countries. Therefore, do not assume that what is standard in your country should be so in that country from where you want to procure goods. In the list, you should include various factors like level of experience, language proficiency, the scope of services, location, and the payment structure. You must also specify various supplier working conditions that include the material type, its quality, and the delivery times.
Make A Budget
Once you have listed your requirements, the next thing is to set a budget. When you set a budget, make sure that there is a bit of flexibility in it. You may not know when some unexpected expense may come up. You should be clear about how many units you want to procure and the unit price you are willing to pay. Furthermore, you should also be clear regarding how much you want to pay to your sourcing agent.
What Type Of Sourcing Company You Are Looking For
Once you have decided upon your requirement and budget, the next step is to figure out what type of sourcing company you want to engage. There are three main types of sourcing agencies:
- Singles Sourcing Agents: The agents work independently and take only a few clients.
- Sourcing Agencies: Such companies employ scores of sourcing agents with a specific area of expertise.
- Sourcing and Logistic Companies: These are large companies with multiple divisions. They offer the complete package, right from finding the supplier to delivering the product to your warehouse.
Do Some Research On Your Sourcing Agent
You must research the sourcing and procurement consultant that you want to hire. Do not limit your search to Google only. You should also try some other platforms where you can read the reviews of other clients who are either presently the clients of the consultant or were in the past. Your choice must be guided by the testimonials, reviews, and references you get from other businesses regarding the quality of the service that the consultant offers.
Ask Them To Give You A Written Quotation
If you want to find the best deal for yourself, you should shortlist a few sourcing agents. Ask for a quotation from each sourcing agent, which should include the price for their service. The quotation should also mention the payment structure that they are offering you and how they calculate the price, which they will charge you.
Once you have all the quotations, you should be able to choose one sourcing agent who offers you the best deal. When you are asking for the quotation, you should also request them to give you a copy of their business license too.
Try Negotiating The Best Deal
After you have chosen one sourcing agent from your shortlist, you should negotiate with them to get a better offer from them. Some big sourcing companies sometimes have a margin for discounts, which can make the deal even sweeter. You will find that independent sourcing agents are more flexible with their payment compared to big sourcing agencies that follow a fixed price principle.
Put Everything In Writing
When both sides have agreed upon the main points, you should document everything and have it signed. The documentation will make your sourcing and procurement agent aware of what is expected from him/her. The legal document should include things like what would happen if the consignment is delayed, or you receive inferior quality goods. It should also have a well-defined payment structure that includes how much money you have to pay and the payment mode. Proper documentation helps in avoiding future disagreements.
If you follow these steps carefully, you will find a highly reliable procurement agent who can get you the best deal and help improve your profit margins even further.