Purchasing Project Management for Import Orders from China

POSTED ON August 23, 2021

Purchasing Project management is all about following a logical order. When it comes to import orders, logically, you need to start by planning what you need to contract and then you plan how you will do it. Once the requirements are clear, you will send the contract requirements to the manufacturer/seller. The sellers then bid for your contract. You choose the best supplier for your order and then sign the contract with them.
It doesn’t end here. Once production begins, you have to stay in touch with the supplier and make sure they are following the contract. When the production is complete, you get a quality inspection done, have the products delivered and close the contract. While it all seems very logical and simple, it becomes quite complicated to manage the whole process when you and your supplier and sitting thousands of miles apart.
You need to plan the whole project while sitting in your own country and communicating with people who may/may not know your language well. This is the key reason why project management of import orders should ideally be carried out at the local level. One of the simplest reasons why it is best to have a local purchasing project management team taking care of your import orders is that if you don’t have your own team doing it, you will have to rely on your supplier’s team. That’s not the ideal situation to be in. The supplier’s salespeople will obviously have the supplier’s best interests in mind and not yours. Also, these salespeople are anything but project managers. In fact, in most Chinese factories you will find no real project managers, so as a buyer, you have to do it all on your own. When you approach a supplier for new product development or sourcing of a product, they are usually quite enthusiastic and tend to over-commit. They do this in order to win your order. However, delays are not uncommon when you source from China and these delays are not only due to the supplier’s fault, there could be many reasons behind it. Some of the most common reasons include imprecise information, unclear communication, incomplete/unclear specifications and improper feedback on samples.
Most of these issues can be resolved by way of professional purchasing project management wherein milestones are defined clearly, timelines recorded, communication channels defined and liabilities clearly laid out. When you place an order with a Chinese supplier, you cannot simply sit back and wait for the delivery. You need to constantly be in touch with suppliers and ensure that they are right on track. If you don’t keep track of how things are moving, don’t be surprised if three days before the delivery the supplier tells you there is a week’s delay. Then, as you expect the delivery, they can announce another delay. This is just one of the problems that can occur due to poor project management. Poor quality is another major issue that can stem from poor project management. Importers can prevent most of these issues from occurring by having a professional project management team taking care of things locally. These professionals have all the technical know-how and knowledge of how industries operate and can make sure that you receive the right products at the right time. Some of the things they can do for you, which otherwise won’t be possible include:
•Carrying out a factory audit to ensure that they have the right capacity to deliver your
product within the given timeframe
• Create realistic delivery forecasts and milestones
• Conduct quality inspection during the production process and before delivery to make sure the
products meet the given specifications and quality requirements
• Use a project management approach for every order to define milestones clearly and record progress.
• Use advanced project management techniques to keep track of the production process.

Purchasing Project management of orders when sourcing from China is even more important when you are sourcing multiple products from different vendors or in the case of new product development. In these cases, the chances of things going wrong are very high and it is best to have a local project management team handling your sourcing project.

If you are looking for a sourcing company that can offer comprehensive services including professional project management services, you have reached the right place. Let a highly experienced, PMP-certified professional take care of your China sourcing needs so that you can be assured that only the right products will reach you at the right time.