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Five Rules for Success in Sourcing Abroad

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So you are into import business and you want to last, your goal being to craft an enterprise embedded with incredible staying power. You want to start a business with real value, one that is not a scheme to enrich yourself quickly, a scheme that won’t last. As such, you don’t want to join the bandwagon of people who start out today and are gone tomorrow, the reason being the importation of poor quality imports for low-profit margins. If this describes you, read on and discover the five rules for success in sourcing abroad.

People import goods for various reasons. For some, the product(s) they intend to trade in may not be available locally. For others, local manufacturers could be more expensive or of low quality as compared to overseas suppliers. Whatever the reasons for your move to source abroad, your success lies with your diligence in following a laid down scrip of success rules in overseas product sourcing.

1. Clear Definition of Product Specifications

Be very clear with your product specifications from the word go. Changing your specifications midway through the production process disorients the supplier, and can be very costly. Not only that, it can be time-consuming or may lead to switching suppliers.

Before you go out in search of a supplier, be very clear on what you want. Some of the main specifications you should be clear about include materials, logo, colors, dimensions and order size or quantity.

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Be as detailed and specific as possible. Be careful to leave nothing to chance. The worst scenario is for you to go far with the supplier, only for you to wake up to the fact that he is incapable of meeting your specifications.

You can opt to go the conventional way and use conventional product specifications of the product, or anything close, a factor that makes it easy for the supplier to manufacturer, given that they could already have the systems in place. A supplier who has already supplied other retailers with almost similar products is capable of easily meeting your specifications.

2. Carry Out Due Diligence on the Supplier

Get to know your supplier, and establish how trustworthy and reliable they are. Check the supplier’s email. Is it Gmail or any other free webmail address, or is it a company domain? If it is a company domain, go check it out and take note of what it says.

Check out online platforms like Alibaba for ratings, reviews and testimonies of the supplier to determine their performance on the market. If your source is China, ask to see the supplier’s business licence. Have a Chinese interpret it for you. Take note of the legal scope of their business operations.

Better still, use a sourcing agent to refer a trustworthy producer to you.  Leeline Sourcing can do this for you.

3. Utilize Sourcing Resources

Doing the legwork on your own can be very excruciating. Why not find a trustworthy third party who knows the ropes of the trade to help you with virtually everything pertaining to your specific supply chain? Online resources like ThomasNet, Global Sources and Alibaba can help, but they only act as brokers who refer you to a producer and leave you to do the rest. A trustworthy sourcing agent goes beyond that and does everything for you as you focus on your core business activities.

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leelinesourcing.com is an alternative you may want to check out for excellent and trustworthy sourcing from China. Think of all the logistics involved in the process and shipping. They can be very overwhelming. You can offload them to Leeline Sourcing and let them handle the rest for you as you focus on other things.

4. Ask for a Sample

Ask for a sample product and inspect it to ensure it meets all your specifications. Should you be suspicious of anything, or should you be dissatisfied with it, iron out all issues at this stage before you make any further move.

5. Proper and Clear Communication

Be very clear in your communication, especially when dealing with suppliers in non-English speaking nations. When dealing with Chinese suppliers, for example, use simple, comprehensible English. Have multiple channels of communication instead of relying on email alone.

Be Forewarned and Forearmed

Overseas importation of goods comes with tricky challenges and pitfalls that sometimes trip even the most experienced importers. You don’t have to add to those statistics, do you? Leelinesourcing.com can help you escape some, if not all of these import upheavals.

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