If you manage a US-based manufacturing company, you most likely depend on sourcing parts from China manufacturing or India manufacturing vendors. Using global sourcing and procurement is a common way of doing business nowadays. But how do you make sure that you’re following the best practices with regard to product sourcing solutions? Hiring a professional sourcing company as your partner is a wise decision. But before you make that hire, you should ask a few questions to make the best choice in a partner. Doing so will help you find the best partner to handle a complicated task. Here’s what to consider.
Does the Sourcing Company Have Product Knowledge?
Sourcing companies need to demonstrate expertise about the products you need. Let’s say, for instance, that you need electrical wire harnesses, metal casting, metal forming, wire-formed products, injection molding, or electronic controls to manufacture a finished product. You should find a professional sourcing company that has experience with your specific type of product. Not all components are the same, and you don’t want to deal with product sourcing companies that are learning at your expense.
Is the Company Experienced in Sourcing?
Global parts sourcing is a very specific skillset. Just because a business has experience in other areas, it doesn’t mean they will be good at global product sourcing. Success depends on knowing accepted business practices and having connections with offshore manufacturing partners. You’ll need to work with partners who know what they are doing from day one, not ones that are trying to establish themselves in the field.
Does the Company Have a Digital Presence?
In the digital age, it’s easy to conduct initial research on your own. Research the company’s website, Facebook page, or LinkedIn profile. If you’re not finding any of these internet and social media profiles, consider it a red flag. If you do find these pages, review them carefully to develop an understanding of their business practices. Some companies will try to be everything to everyone in one-on-one sales pitches, but it’s harder to do that on internet sites with an ongoing history.
Where Are the Factories Located?
It’s good to know in which countries are your products are being manufactured. You’ll want to work with a partner that has component sourcing in countries with low production costs but high-quality standards. A China factory or India factory is often a good choice, depending on the type of component you are sourcing. However, you might need to narrow down geographic locations even more.
Take China parts sourcing, for instance. Depending on which Chinese province the factory is located, it will impact logistics and transportation costs. Make sure your parts sourcing company has the optimal network of partner factories.
Who Are the Customers of Your Global Sourcing Partner?
You’ll also want to ask where other customers of your global sourcing partner do business. That’s because you’ll want to feel confident that your parts sourcing company is familiar with regulations and certifications needed for products shipped to whatever country in which you manufacture and market goods. As you would expect, regulations and certifications differ from country to country, so it’s a complicated matter. You don’t want your products rejected at the port of entry of the destination country.
Choose Your Global Sourcing Partner Wisely
The product sourcing company you choose can make or break your success. Contact Axia Sourcing to discuss new opportunities for your company. A strategic sourcing consultant will be happy to talk about emerging trends in product sourcing solutions with you.