China is one of the best places for importing a wide range of products. Importing from China is popular because Chinese commodities are affordable. Chinese manufacturers are also experts at designing the best products. The popularity of products from China is one reason why China is packed with sourcing agents. In this post, we discuss everything you need to know about sourcing agents, like what is a sourcing agent?
What is sourcing?
Before getting into the definition of a sourcing agent, it would be wise first to discuss sourcing. Sourcing is the process of selecting supplies for providing goods and services for running a business. The process involves finding quality sources for goods and services required for running a business. It is also worth noting that sourcing is a significant part of supply chain management.
What is a sourcing agent?
A sourcing agent is a person or agency whose work is to represent a buyer or company through sourcing products and supplies. The agent looks for the best suppliers for products and commodities on behalf of a buyer and handles all the logistics of the sourcing process.
What are the roles of a sourcing agent?
A sourcing agent does more than find supplies for a business. The following are the primary roles of a sourcing agent:
1. Finding suppliers for quality goods and services
The primary role of a sourcing agent is to help businesses find the best suppliers for their goods and services. This means that the agent has to research the available suppliers in your niche and select the best one. The sourcing agent is also tasked with ensuring that the supplier provides the highest quality of commodities.
2. Negotiating prices
Another role of a sourcing agent is to negotiate the prices for commodities and ensure that you get the best prices. This may include comparing prices from different suppliers before placing an order.
3. Establishing payment terms
After negotiating the prices, the next step is establishing payment terms and including this in the contract.
4. Establishing a relationship with the suppliers
Since a sourcing agent works as the go-between or third party between the buyer and supplier, they have to establish professional relationships. This is done on behalf of the buyer.
5. Placing orders
Once all the details have been ironed out, a sourcing agent also has to place orders. This is done depending on the instruction from the buyer.
6. Inspecting the quality
Once the products have been manufactured, a sourcing agent also has to test the quality of the products. This is done to ensure that the buyer only gets the best of the best products.
7. Overseeing the shipping process
Once the products are tested, and the quality is assured, a sourcing agent also has to oversee the shipping of the products.
The roles listed above are proof that working as a sourcing agent is a lot of work. This is one of the primary reasons you must take a lot of caution when choosing a sourcing agent. This includes considering elements like licensing, trustworthiness, dependability, and effective communication.