You might be wondering what sourcing is and why you should hire a sourcing agent instead of doing it yourself. Sourcing is the process of finding and identifying the correct vendors and suppliers for a project. This includes things like prototyping, manufacturing, materials, hardware, and services such as engineering. Depending on your project, one or more of these will probably be needed. Unless you’ve spent the time researching all of these it can be a daunting task to find the right vendor. Keep in mind, a sourcing agent is not the same as a manufacturing broker as they will go find new suppliers for you rather than just having a set list they work with.
Those who have worked as a sourcing agent, or buyer, have worked with enough vendors to know and see red flags that might pop up. It’s not that they are mystical beings of ultimate knowledge, these sourcing agents just have industry experience giving them a great gut feeling when working with new vendors as to how things will turn out.
Sourcing agents have spent years researching vendors of many different types. That experience brings with them a list of preferred vendors they’ve worked with before, or have high recommendations about. It also brings negotiation experience in getting the best prices and delivery times from vendors.
While no sourcing agent has an all-inclusive list of the best vendors for every single thing, they do have a network of vendors they’ve worked with and know. This saves you time and gives you access to vendors that are known to be good.
When you hire a sourcing agent it saves you time and money and greatly reduces the possibility of working with a terrible vendor that will take advantage of you intentionally or unintentionally. This means you can let an expert find the best vendors for your projects and save you the frustration.