We can break this question down into smaller parts:
Why China Sourcing?
Why Management?
Why Sourcing Management?
What makes China Sourcing Management special?

Why China Sourcing?
China sourcing has come a long way since 1978, when CPG got its start. Many importers have established their supply chains and have even opened their own offices in China.

In doing so, many companies have been able to take advantage of the world’s factory, as China is often referred as, to better compete and to improve their bottom lines.

Why Management?
This appears to be a simple question with an obvious answer.  But it is worth reflecting upon.

Management is about resolving problems, as quickly and as painlessly as possible. Most companies are confronted by 3 kinds of problems, Simple, Complicated and Complex.

Simple: These are problems can usually be resolved by recipes or procedures.  By writing down every step of the solution, management gets a process that can be tested, verified, improved, taught and replicated.

Complicated: Like developing a satellite system, these are challenges that managers break down into simple parts and link each part together in a documented process that can also be tested, taught and replicated.  Repeated success creates empirical knowledge and expertise.

Complex: One size doe not fit all, like raising a child.  The experience acquired and the processes learned do not guarantee applicability to all.  Good managers recognize there is uncertainty, that certain situations are unique, that expertise, by itself, is not enough.

Why Sourcing Management?

Because business owners want efficiency throughout their supply chain and that efficiency is usually obtained by unifying the company vision across the whole of its supply chain through good management.

What makes China Sourcing Management special?

Besides the fact that sourcing management is important because it raises the level of performance (for many companies, the difference between sourcing and sourcing well has a big impact on their business) management in China is also challenging.

And this for three reasons:  (1) China is far, traveling there is a big investment of time; (2) There is a language problem, and working through interpreters is always complex and (3) There is a culture gap because of the unique mix of Chinese tradition and political background.

So, for China sourcing management, the 3 kinds of problems are generally as follows:

Simple: In a sourcing operation there are routine procedures that dominate daily activities, such as processing RFQs (Request for Quote), putting together PSS (Product Specification Sheets) and maintaining shipping schedules.  By writing down every step of these procedures, and making sure they are correctly translated in Chinese, management can rapidly teach and qualify employees. 

Complicated: Like putting together a Quality Assurance Program, complicated challenges are broken down into a string of procedures under the supervision of a team manager, herself trained through a management procedure.  One important, but difficult, unifying process is the management meeting which should be rigorously structured while at the same time encouraging staff to speak up and contribute.

Complex: You may have the best procedures and systems, and that body of knowledge should be able to tackle nearly all imaginable problems, but that does not guarantee it will be completely applicable to all comers.  In fact, all importers are different in their needs, requirements and emphasis.  Just like all clients are.  To address them properly one needs knowledge and art, in other words, knowledge of the circumstances and the human touch.


Why a China Sourcing Management Company?  Such an organization only becomes necessary if you have a serious sourcing program to manage.

At that time, a China Sourcing Management Company is nearly essential.  It should behave as an extension of the clients’ own operations in the US to implement its China vision and protect its interests. If you would like to learn more about how CPG can help manage your China supply Chain, please visit our Services page.


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