What are the Main Functions of a Sourcing Agent?

by Douthitt Steve

A sourcing agent or a purchasing agent helps find the best suppliers or goods for buyers. They are associated with individual business owners or related companies. The agents outsource for the desired products, allowing you to handle or take care of other parts of your business. Such agents are found in countries like China, a leading manufacturing hub with many industries that produce various goods in bulk. Sourcing agents ensure your goods get to you safely wherever you are. In this article, we dive into the key responsibilities of a sourcing agent. 

Key Responsibilities of a Sourcing Agent

Recently, international trade is thriving for both big and small traders. You can involve a sourcing agent fully in all your trades or use them once in a while, depending on the number of products you buy. The roles of these agents are many, but each one of them depends on what you agree upon. They include;

1. Ease of Communication

Sourcing agents introduce the customer to the supplier hence initiating the conversation. As an international trader, you must deal with manufacturers from different countries and cultures that vary from yours completely. At this point, the sourcing agent becomes the middle man. If the supplier speaks a different language from yours, the agent translates to create a common ground and understanding for easier trading. The sourcing agent also helps negotiate with the seller to get the best prices for the products, especially if you plan to resell. Communicating efficiently with the supplier ensures the correct orders are written down, and the buyer gets exactly what they want.

2. Logistics

Before receiving goods from the supplier after purchase, the sourcing agent handles several logistics to ensure the products get to you safely. Such logistics include the buying and delivery process, proper packing of the goods for minimal space occupation, shipment, and mode of transportation. Typically, sourcing agents are based in the country you buy from, so they are familiar with most shipping companies. They take all necessary details involving these companies to inquire about any information from them and track the progress of the goods.

3. Supplier/ Factory Selection

When you live in a particular country, you familiarise yourself with how things work and know which companies are best for a specific activity or product and which one isn’t. Similarly, sourcing agents try to get the best manufacturer for your goods. They conduct a background check on a company to ensure they are genuine, deal with the goods you desire, has good customer review concerning its customer relation and delivery process, and also if it produces high-quality items.

4. Solving of Problems

Despite having a sourcing agent, problems may arise during the process. The agent is responsible for clearing every wrong matter between you and the supplier before getting the products. If you are ordering a huge bulk of items, you might order the wrong product size, type, or color. Also, shipping may not be going as intended, and the agent should help you fix this quickly.

Bottom Line

Sourcing agents make the importation of goods easy, quick, and safe. They deal with genuine manufacturers, dealing with good quality items, so your money is safe. Involving them in the buying process is vital to minimize risks when dealing with foreign suppliers.

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