The past two years have thrown a number of curve balls at businesses and individuals who rely on and procure products from the Far East. All parties have felt the effects in the supply chain.
As the entire world came to a halt, pressures increased, confidence slipped, and we put a review of processes and costs under high scrutiny.
The good news is, as the world began to reopen, trading overseas and procuring products in the Far East became not only a viable option but also an extremely popular one. This has allowed businesses to truly analyse and protect their bottom line. It has provided cost-effective, innovative and creative product solutions. Sourcing products in China offers incredible benefits and advantages.
However, procuring products from the Far East is not without its complications, but…complications that can be overcome…when you know how.
In this post, we look at what you really need to know about procuring products overseas and why the Far East can provide you with what you want at considerably lower prices.
When procuring from overseas, think about…
Before signing on the dotted line and jumping straight into big production runs, you need to understand your total costs. I.e., it is essential that you work out the product’s true cost, complete to your warehouse/storage facility, taking into consideration duty and VAT costs.
Remember, the price from the factory is not the price to your door; you must consider all additional costs (such as logistics and transportation fees) and be aware of hidden charges, as these will affect your bottom line and balance sheet.
By understanding your price point, you will be in a better position to understand how much you should invest.
Finding a suitable manufacturer/wholesaler is vital.
This means you must do your research.
We always advise you to vet companies you’re looking to work with. This means asking for references, speaking to previous customers, carrying out background checks, and more.
You must trust the people you’re looking to work with and feel confident they can deliver what you need and want them to. This can often mean seeking out more than one quote.
We also recommend researching available products and analysing if these products will indeed sell because, trust us, not everything will.
We’re not going to lie; delivery schedules when procuring in the Far East can be far from reliable, and you need to build this into your strategy.
Having robust contracts in place that incorporate delivery schedules, a plan for what happens when things go slightly off schedule, and sound working relationships with your chosen manufacturer/wholesaler is vital.
This and allowing for extended delivery schedules/times, taking into account unforeseen circumstances and potential delays.
At GHL, we’re often asked if you have to pay for products upfront when procuring overseas, and if so, how you can mitigate the risk to you.
The best solution is to work with a sourcing agent with the experience, contacts, and payment terms pre-agreed with quality checks with approved manufacturers already in place.
However, if you have decided not to use a sourcing agent, you will need to ensure you have access to the right credit lines; that you have the correct documentation, funds and initial investment for start-up and upfront costs available.
Quality is huge. In fact, it’s essential, as quality can be one of the biggest pitfalls in product procurement.
You must ensure that the goods you order match the samples you have previously agreed upon because there is no defined quality standard; therefore, you need to ensure that the quality you are buying is at the right level for you.
Because problems with quality can link to further delays, which can result in your cash flow coming under additional pressure.
We believe that sampling is the only way to ensure quality consistency. That and ensuring spot checks and quality controls are carried out and in place at factory level.
Communication with your chosen manufacturer should be good, fast, and clear. You need to make sure that issues are dealt with effectively and efficiently by keeping the lines of communication open.
Working with agents who know the area, language barriers, and cultural differences is the best way to avoid wrong assumptions.
There is no truer saying than “the devil’s in the detail.” Therefore, you need to be crystal clear, never assuming, concise, and thorough in all communication.
Your Far East Sourcing Expert
The Far East is not only renowned for low costs and creative innovation, but due to its manufacturing expertise, you can now bring new products to market cost-effectively and at scale.
We understand there are a lot of pieces to the procurement puzzle, and this is where we come in.
We support you in sourcing the right supplier, verifying, vetting, and carrying out all quality inspections and checks. Acting as your procurement partner, we help to strengthen opportunities, saving you time and money.
If you’re looking to procure products in China, let GHL help you today and get in touch.