How Hybrid Systems of Sourcing Become a New Normal in Pandemic?

Notwithstanding the industry, total size, or scale of the international market, the first stage of any project is to secure a supplier who will produce the product at a competitive price, on time as expected, and to the coveted quality standard. However, the main challenges and questions faced by overseas buyers are: “How do I find potential suppliers for my sourcing project in China? How do I know that the recognized supplier is a reliable source and will not pose a risk to my investment, such as non-compliance with the delivery dates, fraud, or expected quality?

First, let’s review the most common routines for sourcing in Asia.

Before the pandemic crisis: Exhibitions and trade fairs

Until this year, there were no barriers to movement. Buyers, people, and sellers worldwide moved freely to attend international events and buy products and services at various trade fairs. In Asia, the Yiwu Commodity Fair, Canton Fair, and Shanghai Commodity Import & Export Fair are typical examples, not to mention industry-specific fairs. These fairs have become meeting places for millions of buyers seeking new sources of supply. International trade fairs have been the most effective way to shorten the time to purchase decisions. Buyers can evaluate the quality of the products on display and negotiate with potential suppliers.

An online platform that allows you to find suppliers from the comfort of your home.

Thanks to technology, e-commerce is growing by leaps and bounds, creating marketplaces (B2B and B2C) that connect potential buyers and sellers worldwide. This allows entrepreneurs and companies to get market offers for their products in different parts of the world without leaving their home country.

Some of the most well-known online platforms in Asia include MadeinChina, Alibaba, Global Sources, and DHGate, HKTDC to name a few. These platforms have become essential tools for many companies and china sourcing agents, and they are choosing this method to continue to meet their needs for new suppliers. One of the best parts of these platforms is that businesses can compare different suppliers at one place and check which supplier can offer them desired products as per their requirements and budgetary constraints.

A New Alternative: Hybrid Systems in the New Normal.

To bring overseas buyers and suppliers closer together, a hybrid model of virtual business meetings has emerged.

For example, for the first time in history, the 127th edition of the Canton Fair, China’s largest international trade fair, was held in the month of June. This new model involves virtual halls divided by industry, where exhibitors present photos, videos, and materials about their products and companies. In addition, buyers can make one-on-one business appointments via videoconference.

In this respect, the European Union Chamber of Commerce in China and the American Chamber of Commerce in China, in cooperation with Chinese authorities and economic organizations, are taking the lead in planning and promoting this new hybrid model of virtual business meetings, where overseas buyers can meet one-on-one with Chinese suppliers in various industries.

This virtual-driven model has served its purpose during the pandemic. Still, as companies take advantage of developments in information technology and communication tools to reduce business travel costs, the virtual-driven model will become even more critical in the medium to long term.

However, any procurement method must guarantee the expected quality within the expected timeframe and reduce the risk to the customer’s investment. There are many global sourcing companies that have grown leaps and bounds in this pandemic time as they provide consulting to source products from China as well as from other countries keeping in mind rules and laws of different countries.