September 30, 2021
Moon Mu, Sourcing Specialist: Below I share a few stories about why I love my job working in supply chain management. I always strive to achieve maximum benefits for my clients, resulting in amazing days for them, and me!
The Client Is Always Right
When encountering sourcing issues, our clients can offer helpful solutions. They know their products well and can offer lots of ideas to help resolve challenges. Our expertise is in supply chain management, not specific products. And many of our clients do not understand the intricacies of China sourcing. But if we honestly and diligently serve the client, we reap the greatest benefits because we can work together and use each other’s strengths to solve problems.
Client Desire Doesn’t Mean Client Satisfaction
All of my clients have provided me with great support and are very friendly, enabling me to execute my role well. However, there are instances where my expertise forces me to disagree with them to protect their interests. I would like to share an example with you that occurred with one of our current clients. Let’s call them Company A.
Case Study: Unexpected printing costs
Company A was happy with the factory CPG identified for them. An agreement was reached about the price, product quality, packaging style, etc. and orders were placed. However, with raw material prices increasing, the factory suddenly asked Company A to cover the printing fee for pre-production samples.
The fee wasn’t too expensive, but the process was irregular in my experience. As per contract, the factory should have covered that expense. Although Company A agreed to pay the printing fee, with the client’s interest at heart, I presumed Company A did not appreciate the hidden fees. As the Sourcing Specialist, if I allowed Company A to pay this fee, it would create a precedent for other hidden fees to be demanded and this would not be conducive to the long-term cooperation between the client and the factory.
To resolve this issue, I communicated with the factory and insisted that they respect their contract. I finally convinced them, despite their reluctance, to waive this fee. The client was happy with this outcome: it was not a big cost issue, but the supplier relationship was back on track.
Your China Team’s Role
I’ve often asked myself: What role do we play as a team representing the buyer? How do we facilitate the business relationship between buyer and supplier? Are we a bridge between clients and the factories? Are we matchmakers between party A and party B? While both are true, they aren’t enough to express what we do.
In my point of view, the CPG team safeguards our clients. We learn their vision, understand what it is they want to achieve and work to get the maximum benefits for them. We are their eyes and ears, and continue to seek out the best solutions and outcomes for them. We overcome challenges that they do not even see, anticipate and prevent problems that are not obvious to them, and we strive to protect their rights and interests in every endeavor.
by Moon Mu