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Seven Tips to Help you Shape a Smart Sourcing Strategy

By CSRWire Blogs

Submitted by Shruti Agrawal

What makes a business truly competitive? What is it that gives a market advantage?  What helps in establishing a truly unique brand identity? The answer to all these questions lies in the ability to deliver the latest products at the best prices. When a product is perceived as unique even after it is replicated by the rest, it reflects the brand’s ability to go beyond customer needs and create value. To ensure sustainable competitiveness in a period of financial crisis, it is important to create a perfect combination of customer expectations and innovation while keeping pace with the fluctuating economy.

Current Challenges in Low-Cost Country Sourcing

For years, sourcing agents have been focusing on reducing costs and ensuring timely delivery. Today the procurement landscape has become much more complex due to legal issues, regulatory considerations, and sustainability concerns. Over the next ten years, sourcing agents will need to develop an expansive strategy that can proactively address the following seven concerns:

  • Improvise services even with budgetary constraints and public debt 

  • Maintain complete transparency in procurement procedures and product pricing 

  • Reduce the time-frame of procurement lifecycle and enhance process efficiency  

  • Adopt flexible methods to meet changing consumer preferences in a timely and efficient manner. 

  • Cope with cloud technology and digitalize operations for improved productivity and enhanced operational effectiveness 

  • Drive innovation and make the most of emerging procurement practices 

  • Assess the risks associated with supplier relationship management  

How to Make a Difference   

Strategic sourcing enables you to boost enterprise performance, reduce costs, and mitigate supplier management risks. Here are seven key actions that sourcing agents can take to optimize the procurement process:

  1. Investigate the Options
  2. As China’s supply chain services continue to expand, the available warehousing services also increase. With endless options on the market, organizations need to know how each option would affect their capabilities. The factors that need to be taken into consideration when finalizing the warehouse service are insurance coverage, tax implications, custom rules and regulations, and technological capabilities. Managing supply chain from a remote location can get highly complicated, which is why selecting the right warehouse services is important. Bouncing between multiple warehouses can accrue additional expenses which can be easily avoided by narrowing down options and maintaining steady relations with them.  

  3. Strengthen Relationships With Vendors 
  4. The success of any sourcing strategy relies on clear communication and close-knit collaboration. Strengthening relationships with reliable vendors will ensure efficient and timely achievement of organizational goals. When there is clear visibility and a strong connect, companies are in a better position to control their operations.

  5. Setup a Local Team Of Sourcing Agents
  6. Having a team of China sourcing agents who are committed to managing all your warehouse activities is sure to give you a distinct advantage over your competitors. With easy access to local resources, it is possible to identify potential supply chain problems and develop solutions to address them. A local team also ensures that companies remain up-to-date with the ever-evolving regulatory environment of China. This makes it easy to manage global operations and adapt to the dynamic procedures of the country.

  7. Invest on EDI (Electronic Data Interchange)
  8. Real-time visibility is essential for any company that is conducting business across multiple locations. Electronic connectivity facilitates fast and easy communication with key stakeholders even if they are continents away. Electronic data interchange allows companies to integrate their operations for easy access to data and business processes across locations. Technology makes an organization more efficient, more productive, and capable of reducing costs and driving results for the organizational goals.

  9. Keep Up With Changing Consumer Preferences   
  10. When features and functionalities combine with technical expertise and innovation, monopoly is created. While it is tough and expensive to change with changing consumer preferences, a strong R & D capability is required to continue dominating the market. As innovation becomes inevitable, a broader market view will be needed to identify new avenues of growth. This can be achieved through distributors and resellers who are well acquainted with the needs and desires of customers.

  11. Integrate Services to Increase Engagement
  12. Customer surveys offer valuable insights into consumer behavior. When information combines with automation, behavioral parameters become easy to gauge. Leveraging this information to align networks and processes from the perspective of the end-user creates an edge above the rest.

  13. Map Core Competencies for Improved Customer Experience 
  14. A fresh look at the existing competencies of the organization including its ability to create new versions or add options to the core inventory helps in redefining the business strategy for better. When the efforts of key partners are combined to innovate, businesses become more competitive and agile.

    Outsourcing the procurement process to China sourcing agents has proved to be a smart move for many organizations. The benefits of hiring sourcing agents include lower costs, timely delivery, enhanced visibility, and more opportunities to explore top industry resources. When a reliable third party handles the logistics using cutting-edge electronic connectivity, companies have a thorough understanding of China’s laws, their business culture, customs rules and regulations and supply chain options. Collaborating with China sourcing agents can help companies redirect the savings to the core business activities. Outsourcing gives a much broader view of the bigger picture which makes it easy to streamline the procurement process with increased agility. When transparency is improved, risks and opportunities become balanced. With a local presence in China, it becomes easy to analyze trends and establish relationships with suppliers for increased innovation capacity and reduced compliance effort.