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How to build a procurement partnership you can trust

Jun 11, 2024 | Manufacturing in China, Procurement, Sourcing Agents, Supply Chains

Procuring goods and services from overseas involves several key steps and considerations.

To ensure you get these steps right and that everything—and we mean everything—is taken into consideration, you must have trust in the suppliers you work with.

Trust that you are receiving the best, most cost-effective deals and the highest quality products that meet all compliance regulations.

This means working with a team that can help you overcome language barriers, work through cultural differences, manage varying business practices, and so much more.

As we see reports from Statista showing that the global imports of goods and services stand at approximately USD 19.29 trillion, and the EcoVadis Global Sustainable Procurement Survey finding that 81% of those surveyed consider sustainability criteria when selecting their suppliers, we can be assured that overseas procurement is extremely financially beneficial.

But, and this is a big BUT, you need to work with the right procurement partner to support you and achieve good levels of sustainability.

What to look for in a good procurement partner

Let’s start with some of the key things that you should look for in a good procurement partner, starting with: 

Experience – what experience do they have in procuring overseas? Do they understand the process, the context, and the culture in which they work? Make sure you check customer references, ask questions, and do your research.

Risk management: Ensure the procurement team can assess and mitigate all risks, including currency fluctuations, political instability, natural disasters, supply chain disruption, etc. What contingency plans are in place to address these potential risks and minimise the impact on operations?

Shared values – does the procurement partner share the same values as you? You should look for a team with integrity, commitment, and a team that takes accountability.

Mutual respect—Any partnership is successful when both parties respect each other. This means sharing and respecting expertise, opinions, and contributions.

Local representation—When procuring overseas, it’s important that someone on the ground working with the local suppliers can help you navigate cultural differences, language constraints, and local regulations. Having someone who can facilitate communications and negotiations on your behalf is a recipe for success.

How can you build a successful procurement partnership?

Carry out due diligence—research potential suppliers, check out their reputation, financial stability, quality control measures, compliance with relevant legislation, and more. You need to trust the team you’re working with completely.

Define clear objectives – you must set expectations for the partnership from the onset. By having a mutual understanding of the goals you want to achieve, everyone is fully aware of their role in achieving these.

Ensure full transparency – make sure to share all relevant information openly and honestly. It is the best way to build trust and a strong procurement partnership. This includes having complete supply chain visibility with a team that understands the entire process. Make sure to determine lead times, shipping methods, custom clearance procedures, costs, etc.

Clear communication—To avoid any misunderstandings, there should be regular communication with an update on progress, challenges, or changes that might have cropped up, etc. By establishing clear communication and maintaining regular contact, expectations, and requirements can be met with ease.

Have clear roles and responsibilities – for everyone. Continually monitor and evaluate performance, with your procurement team conducting regular audits, identifying opportunities for improvement, optimising improvement processes, and more.

Check quality assurance – ensure that robust quality assurance processes are implemented to ensure that products and services meet standards and specifications. Procurement teams should carry out quality inspections and test samples and look to resolve quality issues promptly.

Ensure legal and regulatory compliance – ensure full compliance and that you’re meeting country regulations and guidelines where you’re procuring from. Check that your team can help you with intellectual property rights, export and import regulations, and any/all dispute resolution mechanisms.

GHL Procurement

At GHL, we offer a complete procurement service. We use our expertise, insights, and technology to provide a seamless procurement experience that delivers sustainable results.

We know that procuring overseas is complex, and we understand that you need to get this right to achieve a high level of efficiency and cost-effectiveness.

That’s why we offer an all-in-one procurement solution, using our international supply chain and high-level networks to meet your requirements, with teams on the ground carrying out regular quality checks and product inspections.

Let us help you streamline supplier management and achieve economies of scale by sourcing the most competitive rates – contact us today.

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