Here are some interesting or useful articles that I found recently.
I always find it refreshing when an experienced buyer describes how he works, and what tools he uses.
Peter Keller, an American buyer who has imported nearly 1,000 containers since 2005, lays out his sourcing techniques — in particular his 4 “secret weapons” to source new suppliers, how he vets factories, and how he gets them interested in working with him.
Jennifer Stepniowski points us to an article about grid analysis, a tool to decide what supplier is the best. It is very useful in reaching a decision based on data. My advice is to add a threshold (for example: a score of at least 70 for the quality system) below which a supplier is eliminated.
Dan Harris describes three of the most common scam plots used in China against foreign companies. Make sure to read this if you don’t want to be the next victim!
I usually advise new buyers to avoid making assumptions. For example, don’t assume a supplier will know how to pack your products for safe transportation. But Jacob Yount gave it a funny twist: assume that certain things will go wrong, unless you take the right steps.
It is nice to see that more and more Indian manufacturers are going through lean transformations. Let’s hope they reach a critical mass in a few industries, and they get a following.
by Renaud Anjoran on 29 November 2013