Our clients come to us for a variety of different reasons, including:

Lowering Costs of Existing Products. Often times, clients want to reduce the cost of a product they currently buy (e.g., from distributors, US-based factories) and are looking for a cheaper solution. Typically, the client will send us a sample of a product, and we are able to find the exact product (i.e., of the same quality, if not higher) at a lower price most of the time (>90%).
Private Labeling (white labeling). Clients also come to us with a product or design in mind and they want to put their brand on it (private label/white label). In these cases, we identify and work with the manufacturer to ensure that the final product is branded and labeled appropriately, and is at a competitive price.
Buying Customized Products. One frequent problem our clients face is needing a product that’s currently on the market, but doesn’t fit our clients' unique specifications (e.g., size, dimension, functionality). In these cases, we find factories with expertise in the product category and work with both the client and the supplier to customize the product.
Creating New Products. Finally, a number of clients have also come to us with unique new products that are not in the market (e.g., they have a patent, etc.). We work with the client and appropriate suppliers to design and create the prototype, and then manufacture the product.

While individual projects may vary in product type and goals, the sourcing process is typically comprised of the 8 following steps.

1. Come Up With a Sourcing/Product Plan With Client

To start the process, we meet with the client and discuss product to be sourced. Gather relevant documents and necessary information. 
During this conversation, we discuss sourcing goals in terms of price, timeline, etc. Understand the client’s “must-haves” and pain points.

2. Supplier Research

Once the goals and objectives are set, we gather a list of roughly 15-20 relevant suppliers (i.e., factories) based on the fit between the product and factory.
We perform due diligence on these suppliers and narrow it down to 2-3. Conduct in-person audit of the suppliers on the short list and select final supplier to partner with.

3. Produce and Evaluate Sample

Before making a purchase, it is important to product a sample (prototype) so that the client is able to assess the quality of the product. We work with the clients to supply the manufacturer with necessary documents to produce samples (AI files, CAD, STP, physical prototype, etc.). For new products, we often work hand-in-hand with the clients to create the relevant design files.
When the sample (prototype) is completed, we inspect it and send the sample to the client for inspection, feedback, adjustment, and approval.

4. Place Order

Once the client is happy with the sample, we finalize order/price negotiations with the supplier. This entails negotiating the best terms for our clients on price, quantity, production time, …etc. 
The client then pays the deposit for the order, and we ensure that the order is successfully and correctly placed with the supplier.

5. Oversee Production

When the product is under production, we maintain continuous communication with the factory to make sure products are being produced on time, according to schedule, and according to product specifications. We usually check in with the supplier on a weekly basis (if not daily). 
During this time, we will update clients about production progress, timeline, schedule etc. The updates can be daily or weekly depending on the project.  

6. Inspection and Quality Control of the Finished Product

Once the supplier has finished the product, we will manually/visually test and evaluate the final product, ensuring quality before shipment. 
We typically send videos of the finished product to the client and also video call the client so that they can see the product visually before shipment.

7. Arrange Shipment and Export

After the products are done, we then help with shipment. This entails preparing all necessary documents for shipping and exporting (Packing List, Commercial Invoice, HS Codes, ISF Filings, etc.).
We will also arrange and coordinate the appropriate freight transport from China to the client based on product type and time line (sea freight or air freight).

8. Customs Clearance and Delivery

Before the shipment lands in the U.S. (or which other country the client is based in), we prepare necessary documents for importation and customs clearance (e.g., Bill of lading packing list, commercial invoice, HTS codes, etc.)
And finally once the shipment has cleared customs, we manage and oversee ground transportation to the clients’ warehouse.  

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