Everything About Product Sourcing for Your Business.
There are a many opportunities for product sourcing out there. Buyers need to understand the source of their products and its impact on their business. With an overwhelming number of suppliers (and agents of suppliers), finding the right supplier might be a challenge. Retailers are dependent on a number of sources dealing in different products to stock their shelves and meet the rising demand.
Here are different product sourcing channels:
Product Souring Online
When looking for product sourcing online, you have two options:
- Supplier platforms
- Supplier websites
The online product sourcing industry has changed a lot, making it easier for retailers to find the products they are looking for. There are some online apps that make the process simpler, refining search results that closely match their needs.
Product Sourcing at Trade Shows
Despite a decline in trade show attendance, they still remain an important source for products. Trade shows are an opportunity for buyers to see the product firsthand and gain immediate information about it. Nothing tops actually having the product in hand and having the supplier available to answer all questions before you put in an order.
Product sourcing at trade shows is also a platform for retailers to develop a business relationship with suppliers and know more about the latest trends in product sourcing as well as product manufacturing. Trade shows by manufacturers or wholesalers ensure that they stock hot products of the season.
How To Successfully Source Products
It all begins with an attempt to understand the product. Retailers should consider doing market research before sourcing products. Inventory management and sales data can come in handy to understand if there is enough interest in the product to drive sales and growth into the future. It is an opportunity to find if certain products work better than others and how you need to forecast inventory for future sales.
Retailers should also consider consumer demand. It’s a good idea to participate in social media conversations and conduct surveys to determine what topics engage consumers the most. What’s driving their purchase decision? What’s trending in products? Identify your competitors that seem to be addressing the trends.
2. Contact suppliers
Identify the demands or expectations of buyers. Determine your expectations from this contact with the supplier. Is it about samples, products, and information about products or trends? Retailers can take their initial contact with suppliers further by engaging with them on online platforms.
3. Ask for samples
Do not hesitate to ask for product samples for a test drive. This gives you a firsthand experience with the supplier as well as their product. With this information handy, you can make the decision on whether to go ahead with them.
4. Choose suppliers for a trial
You may take this further and take a trial run of certain products from a specific supplier’s lineups. Judge a product based on certain parameters and key performance indicators.
5. Evaluate suppliers
You need to assess the supplier’s performance during the trial run before making the final decision on product sourcing. Having all the parameters will help buyers evaluate suppliers. You should also consider if the product meets the expected goals. Here are some questions to think about.
- How did it perform?
- How did you find the supplier?
- Were they clear in communication?
- Did they honor the timeline?
- How disciplined did you find the supplier?
Evaluation of the supplier’s performance will help you determine whether to go ahead with them or look for the second option.
6. Keep other options open
When you want to see your products moving in and out constantly, it is critical to keep your supplier options open. Times are challenging and you want to ensure that uncertainty does not affect your product cycle. Otherwise it could be a huge blow to consumer trust. Keeping supplier options open ensures that the stocks remain moving, catering to consumer demand. This also ensures that you are not at the mercy of a single supplier.
A multiple-supplier situation gives you an opportunity to bargain better and suppliers are more likely to bring cost down. This ensures that you will always have your demand and supply cycle going forward. Having more than one supplier for product sourcing, retailers can easily do a price and quality comparison.
The Elite OPS Edge for Product Sourcing
Product sourcing and procurement are critical to supply chain management. At Elite OPS, we pride ourselves on our comprehensive solutions for sourcing and procurement so clients can focus on their core business and get a competitive edge. Our effective sourcing strategy is based on improving processes to reduce waste and cost, minimize labor, and contribute to improving the client’s ROI. Let us help you achieve your lean manufacturing and inventory management goals.
Elite OPS believes in honest business and successful relationships with clients and that’s why we have been in business for over 25 years now. Connect with us today for our sourcing & procurement services to overcome sourcing challenges and take your business forward.
Elite OPS has been a leader in Shipping and Logistics for over 25 years. Contact Us to find out how we can help you Save Time and Money on Procurement as a Service, eCommerce Order Fulfillment, and Kitting and Assembly.
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