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Zhejiang ShiningHub Co., Ltd.
Zhejiang ShiningHub Co., Ltd.

What Products are Suitable for Sourcing from Asia? What Should Be Noted When Completing Asian Procurement Tasks?

01 Jul , 2024

I.What is a Procurement Agent?

When used as a noun, procurement agency refers to a professional organization or individual entrusted by a company or individual to conduct procurement activities on its behalf. When used as a verb, it refers to a professional person commissioned by a company to conduct procurement work on behalf of the company.

The procurement agency uses its rich industry experience and market knowledge to help customers efficiently complete procurement tasks and achieve the goal of saving time and costs.


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II.What are the tasks of the procurement agency?

The task of the procurement agent is to handle the entire procurement process on behalf of the client, from planning to contract execution, ensuring efficient, compliant, and cost-effective procurement activities.

The tasks of the procurement agency mainly include the following points:

1. Assist in formulating procurement plans and strategies

Market research, analyzing product demand and price trends. According to the needs of the client and market conditions, helping to develop effective procurement plans and strategies to ensure the smooth progress of procurement activities.


2. Identify and evaluate suppliers

Supplier screening and evaluation to ensure supplier reliability and product quality. Responsible for finding suitable suppliers in the market and evaluating and screening these suppliers to ensure the procurement of high-quality products or services.


3. Preparation of procurement documents and contracts

Draft and sign contracts to protect the legal rights and interests of customers. Prepare and organize documents required for procurement, such as inquiry forms, quotation forms, and procurement contracts, and ensure the accuracy and compliance of these documents.


4. Price negotiation

Inquiry, comparison and negotiation to obtain the best purchase price. Negotiate with suppliers on behalf of the client to obtain the most favorable purchase price.


5. Arrange for the transportation and delivery of goods or services

After-sales service and problem solving, providing necessary support. Responsible for coordinating logistics arrangements to ensure that purchased goods or services can be delivered to their destinations on time and safely.


6. Monitor the supplier's performance of the contract

Continuously monitor whether suppliers fulfill their obligations in accordance with the contract during the procurement process to ensure the smooth progress of procurement activities.


7. Deal with issues and disputes related to procurement

After-sales service and problem solving, providing necessary support. If any problems or disputes arise during the procurement process, the procurement agent needs to assist in resolving them to protect the interests of the client.


For example, with TradeAider. As a smart sourcing agent, TradeAider helps overseas buyers to source various apparel & textiles products from it's large base of partner factories for over 26 years since 1998 when Justin Chen founded the group. The products we source for the esteemed clients have then been extended to also accessories, raw materials, luggage & bags, shoes, toys, sports & outdoor ,gifts & crafts, consumer goods, furniture, cosmetics, stationery, building & decorative materials, electronics, etc. This is achieved thanks to TradeAider's strong dedicated and experienced sourcing and merchandising teams, assisted by TradeAider's vast network of 80,000 product development and quality control specialists in China and in the world, and the efficient digitalization of order control and quality control system. 


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III. Why do we need an Asian purchasing agent?Asia, as an important base for global manufacturing, has abundant product resources and price advantages. The main reasons for needing an Asian procurement agent are as follows:

1. Geographical and cultural advantages

Asian sourcing agents usually have in-depth knowledge of the Asian market, including supplier networks, market dynamics, business practices, and cultural backgrounds. This helps to more effectively conduct supplier screening, price negotiation, and contract management.


2. Language communication ability

In Asia, multiple languages coexist. A local procurement agent usually has fluency in the local language, which can eliminate communication barriers and improve the efficiency of the procurement process.


3. Supply Chain Management

Asian procurement agents have in-depth knowledge of local supply chains and logistics networks, and are able to manage the entire process from suppliers to end consumers more effectively, ensuring timely delivery of goods.


4. Quality control

Although there are many high-quality suppliers in Asia, there are also cases of uneven quality. Purchasing agents usually have professional quality control capabilities and can assist in ensuring that the purchased products meet international standards and buyer requirements.


5. Regulations and Compliance

The regulations and business environments in Asian countries vary. Procurement agents can help navigate these complex regulatory environments, ensure compliance with procurement activities, and reduce potential legal risks.


6. Time efficiency

By leveraging the local knowledge and experience of Asian sourcing agents, companies can save a significant amount of time and resources spent on market research, supplier selection, and negotiation.


IV. Why do global merchants prefer to complete their procurement tasks from Asia?

Asia, especially China and Southeast Asian countries, has huge manufacturing capacity and abundant raw material resources. The relatively low production costs in these regions make the product prices more competitive.


Global merchants prefer to complete their procurement tasks from Asia, mainly due to the following reasons:

1. Cost advantage

Asia, especially China, Vietnam, India and other countries, has relatively low labor and production costs. For example, according to the Economist, the average daily wage of Chinese workers in 2015 was $27.5, while Indonesia and Vietnam were $8.6 and $6.7 respectively. The cost advantage makes the products produced in Asia competitive in price.


2. Strong manufacturing foundation

Asia has a huge manufacturing base, especially in the fields of electronics, textiles, toys, etc. This means that businesses can find a variety of types and sizes of manufacturers in Asia to meet their diverse procurement needs.


3. Developed supply chain and logistics network

Asia's supply chain and logistics network is very developed, especially in China. The developed transportation network enables the rapid and efficient circulation of goods, reducing transportation costs and time.


4. Market Potential and Diversity

The Asian market has great potential and diversity, covering a wide range of product needs from high-end to low-end. Businesses can flexibly adjust their procurement strategies based on market demand.


5. Government support and preferential policies

Many Asian governments have provided a series of preferential policies and tax reductions to attract foreign investment and promote exports. These policies have further reduced procurement costs and increased the attractiveness of Asia as a procurement destination.


6. Technological progress and innovation

Asia has also made significant progress in science and technology and innovation, especially in the fields of electronics, communications and biotechnology, which has enabled Asia to provide a low-cost production environment and high-quality and high-tech products.


Global merchants prefer to complete their procurement tasks from Asia, mainly because Asia has advantages in cost, manufacturing base, supply chain and logistics, market potential, government support, and technological progress. These advantages make Asia one of the important choices for global merchants to procure.


V. Which products are suitable for purchasing in Asia?

The range of products suitable for procurement in Asia is very wide, including but not limited to: electronic products and accessories, textiles and clothing, toys, handicrafts and decorations, hardware tools and machinery equipment, chemical products and raw materials.

1. Electronic products

Asia, especially China, Japan, South Korea and other countries, is one of the main production and export areas of electronic products. From smartphones to computer accessories to household appliances, manufacturers in Asian countries provide a wide range of choices. When purchasing electronic products in Asia, buyers can obtain high-quality products at competitive prices.


2. Clothing and textiles

Asian countries have a rich textile and clothing industry, including China, India, Bangladesh and other places. Manufacturers in these countries provide a variety of types and styles of clothing and textiles, from high-end fashion to mass-produced ready-made clothing. When purchasing clothing and textiles in Asia, buyers can choose different suppliers according to their own needs, thus meeting the diverse needs of the market.


3. Household items

Asian countries are also important manufacturing and exporting destinations for household goods, including furniture, home decorations, kitchen utensils, etc. These products are characterized by a wide variety, reasonable prices, and reliable quality. Purchasing household goods from Asia can provide cost-effective products while also allowing for the selection of styles and designs that suit different market needs.


4. Toys and games products

Many well-known toy and game products are manufactured in Asian countries such as China, Taiwan, and South Korea. These countries have mature production bases and supply chain systems that can provide a variety of types and quality of toy and game products. When purchasing toy and game products in Asia, buyers can choose from large manufacturers to small factories, and collaborate according to their own needs and budgets.


VI. What are the popular purchasing destinations in Asia?

Popular purchasing destinations in Asia include China, India, Vietnam, Thailand, Malaysia, etc.

These countries have their own industrial advantages and special products, attracting a large number of global buyers.

China: As the "world factory", it has a complete manufacturing system and low labor costs.


Vietnam: In recent years, the manufacturing industry has developed rapidly and the cost is relatively low.


India: It has a huge labor force and a growing manufacturing industry.


Thailand, Malaysia and other countries are also popular purchasing destinations due to their specific industrial advantages and cost advantages.


VII. What are the challenges and risks of completing procurement tasks in Asia?

The challenges and risks faced in completing procurement tasks in Asia include language and cultural differences, product quality and delivery time, trade regulations and policies, currency exchange rate fluctuations, intellectual property and patent protection issues.

It can be summarized as follows:

1. Tariffs and trade policies

Challenge: Tariffs and trade policies vary across Asian countries, which increases the complexity of procurement. For example, some countries may impose high tariffs on specific goods, affecting procurement costs.

Risk: Failure to fully understand and comply with relevant tariffs and policies may result in additional financial burdens or legal disputes.


2. Supplier selection and quality control

Challenge: There are many suppliers in the Asian market, but the quality varies greatly. Selecting the right supplier and ensuring that product quality meets standards is a difficult task.

Risk: Selecting unqualified suppliers may lead to product quality problems, which in turn affect brand image and market sales.


3. Cultural differences and language barriers

Challenge: The significant cultural differences and linguistic diversity in Asian countries have increased the difficulty of communication and negotiation.

Risk: Misunderstandings or poor communication due to cultural differences and language barriers may affect procurement efficiency and partnership.


4. Exchange rate fluctuations and payment risks

Challenge: Currencies and exchange rate policies vary across Asian countries, and exchange rate fluctuations may affect procurement costs.

Risks: Unstable exchange rates and complex payment systems may increase financial risks and transaction costs.


5. Legal and Compliance

Challenge: The laws and regulations in Asian countries are not the same, and ensuring compliance in procurement activities requires a deep understanding of the local legal environment.

Risk: Violating local laws or regulations may lead to legal disputes and financial losses.


To complete procurement tasks in Asia, it is necessary to fully consider and address these challenges and risks to ensure the smooth progress of procurement activities and reduce potential risks.


VIII. Common steps and core considerations for finding an Asian agent

The common steps and core considerations for finding an Asian agent can be summarized as follows:

Common steps

1. Clarify the needs and goals

First, clarify the positioning and demand of your product or service in the Asian market. Determine what goals you hope to achieve through agents, such as sales volume and market share.


2. Market research

Conduct in-depth research on the Asian market to understand the current state of the industry, competitors, and the distribution of potential agents. Gather information through industry reports, professional websites, social media, and other channels.


3. Develop selection criteria

Based on market research results, establish criteria for selecting agents, including industry experience, sales ability, and market coverage.


4. Release recruitment information

Publish information on recruiting agents through industry exhibitions, professional websites, social media, etc. Clearly state the qualifications, cooperation conditions, and support provided by the manufacturer for agents.


5. Screening and evaluation

Screening the agents who apply for the business, and evaluating their qualifications, experience, sales network, etc. This can be done through interviews, on-site visits, or requiring agents to submit detailed business plans.


6. Signing the contract

After determining the cooperative agent, both parties should sign a formal agency contract. The contract should clearly define the rights and obligations of both parties, sales targets, profit distribution, liability for breach of contract, and other terms.


7. Training and Support

Provide training to agents on product knowledge, sales skills, and other aspects. Provide necessary market support, such as advertising and promotional activities.


Core Considerations

1. The credibility and ability of the agent

Ensure that the agent has a good business reputation and stable operating conditions. Examine the agent's sales ability, market expansion ability, and customer service level.


2. Market fit

Select agents who have in-depth knowledge of the Asian market and can accurately target customers. Ensure that the sales network and channels of the agents are in line with the market strategy of the manufacturer.


3. Clear terms of cooperation

The contract should specify key terms such as the cooperation period, sales target, and profit distribution between the two parties. Establish a reasonable assessment mechanism and incentive mechanism to stimulate the enthusiasm of agents.


4. Protection of intellectual property rights

Clearly specify the ownership and protection of intellectual property rights in the contract. Require agents to comply with relevant laws and regulations to prevent intellectual property infringement.


5. Continuous communication and collaboration

Establish a regular communication mechanism to keep abreast of market dynamics and feedback from agents. Provide necessary support and assistance to help agents solve problems encountered.


6. Risk management and adjustment

Regularly evaluate agents to ensure they fulfill their responsibilities in accordance with contract requirements. Adjust cooperation strategies or replace unqualified agents in a timely manner based on market changes and agent performance.