Welcome to Sourci’s FAQ page
Check out the answers to some of our most commonly asked questions below:
What makes Sourci different to any other sourcing agent or company?
Well, nothing like Sourci exists… anywhere in the world.
Sourci is a disruptor. We have one focus in mind… Finding the BEST POSSIBLE manufacturers around the globe. This means that our teams in China, Vietnam, Indonesia etc. spend days researching the best suited suppliers specifically for our clients (based off your unique requirements – price, MOQs, exclusive materials, quality, production turnarounds), and we then contact 30+ factories organically, seeking out the best match for you.
This means we’ll get over a dozen quotations, sometimes 20+, and we grill the suppliers with questions to really drill down to find the best ones that can supply exactly what you need at the price &the exact quality levels that you require.
See our article on sourcing agents vs company here. Most sourcing companies just hop onto Alibaba.com and fetch you 2-3 quotes, or worse still they’ll just contact a supplier that they’ve worked with before. We literally spend 40+ hours finding you the best suppliers from the start. No procurement team internal or external is as relentless & resourceful as we are.
- Sourci is the only Australian sourcing company that has teams in countries outside of China. This means we are equipped to search in multiple countries and obtain quotations from factories in several countries simultaneously for you. That’s 5x the reach.
- No “that’ll do” mentality exists in our stratosphere. “Keep looking & keep pushing” is our mantra, finding our clients literally the best possible solutions.
- Our ‘startup’ mentality means that we work evenings, nights, weekends, and non-stop across multiple timezones to make things happen in record time. Each one of our clients gets that personal attention & dedication (almost daily updates, duty of care) as if your products are our own, as if your business is our own.
- We are 100% transparent. We actually find you the best suppliers then give you all of their details… It’s unheard of, we know.
We do not resell products to our clients at an inflated margin, like some other sourcing companies do. Rock bottom factory direct pricing is what you will receive (when using our standard sourcing process).
- Unbiased searches. No payments from factories. Ever. Only your best interests in mind. Period.
- We are based in Melbourne, and we speak great English. A 5 minute conversation will actually only take you 5 minutes with us. No kidding.
Your service is exactly what we need! How much will it cost us?
Well, in majority of cases you will only save money overall by using Sourci to find and manage your suppliers. So it pays for itself many times over.
In terms of costs for engagement, we charge an upfront fee that covers all of the research & quoting, where we reach out to 20-50+ manufacturers on your behalf, discover the hidden gems that aren’t visible online or via those archaic platforms such as Alibaba.com.
When you get in touch with us, we will ask for some information from you and within just days you will receive a formal proposal outlining exact costs & strategy, we normally offer 3 tiers of packages depending on the level of service you require and how determined/fast you want to go with your new product venture.
Upfront costs cover the usual 1-3+ months sourcing process, including daily communication, dedicated project managers in Australia & 60+ hours of work completed by our professional teams across multiple countries, learning your products intimately and finding you the best possible factory(s). These costs range between $3,000 – $7,000 + GST, and really depend on the scope of work involved in your particular field. Certainly much cheaper than flights & accommodation to China, and about 10x more effective. It’ll pay for itself in spades, by getting your products to market faster, and saving you goodness knows how much on costs in potential crises from using the wrong “agents” or when your Alibaba.com “manufacturer” (more like trading company) decides to stop replying to you after 2 months of cooperating.
“If your alternative to Sourci is Alibaba.com, then you can easily look forward to spending even 35% less on your products with us.”
Once we’ve scoured the globe for your perfect suppliers, helped you order samples/prototypes, negotiated you the best pricing, and helped you save money on freight & international payments – we charge an ongoing management fee of 10% on the value of your orders with the suppliers that we introduce you to *This gets capped at different brackets, for larger businesses*.
You get live production updates, a local management team, and a lifetime of problem solving & relationship management. Not to mention access to the best freight prices & a full supply chain & procurement team improving products & margins for your business. We’re almost certain that we’d be one of the only sourcing companies around that doesn’t RE-SELL products to their clients – so although we charge 10% to cover our time and expertise, we don’t add 30-60% and pretend “it’s the factories price.”
“If you grew your business to the point where you hire your own procurement team and logistics team, how much would that cost in wages alone? We provide that entire service at 5x the value instead.”
You can look at it as “Paying 10% (or less) to save 30%”. If you found a supplier quote for $10 per unit, and with our expert overseas teams we can get you that same product (probably higher quality/higher finish) for $7 for you, add 10% then you’re paying $7.70 and still saving 23% NET. Not bad right?
If you plan to spend over $50,000 per annum on products or materials, then it’s a no-brainer. If you are only making a one-off purchase or are planning a small-scale side business with no long term focus then Sourci may not be for you. We take your products seriously and ‘scale’ is our shared interest for you.
We may still have solutions for your one-off ordering, just reach out to find out.
Is there a particular industry, field, or niche that you operate in?
Not at all. Our sourcing process applies to absolutely any product category, and the blueprint for finding the perfect manufacturer is applicable to any type of manufacturer.
We have experience in a breadth of different product fields such as fashion, homewares, construction/building supplies (Oak flooring, windows, fasteners), civil infrastructure materials, ceramics, cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, textiles, industrial components, consumer electronics, furniture, childrens garments, glassware, packaging, custom moulded plastics & so much more. We can find absolutely any product throughout Asia – as long as it actually exists!
If you have a product in mind, have a chat with us. We’ve probably already had some exposure to a similar product or manufacturing process and just might have some great advice + recommendations for a way to get it to market.
Will the fees we pay you be GST and tax deductible?
Yes we charge GST on our services and everything paid to us should definitely be tax deductible as it is a business expense.
If you are in a country other than Australia, just let us know and we will not charge you any GST.
Do you take the management fee from the total amount we pay the manufacturer per order?
The 10% (or less) management fee is a separate fee which is the only bill you can expect from Sourci – this way you are purchasing directly from your overseas factory, and you know exactly what your costs are and who you are working with.
Sourci’s management fee is calculated off your gross commercial invoice from the manufacturer only. It is not calculated on anything else such as freight or importing costs, so just 10% (or less) of what you pay to the manufacturer. An extremely low price to pay for a kind of insurance and peace of mind. We’ll find you better pricing than what is possible without having your own overseas teams, visiting the factories and speaking their own language – so look at it as paying 10% to save 20-40%.
“This gets you a full external supply chain management team.”
The reason this fee is charged separately is because we want it to be totally transparent, so that you can pay your factory directly and can see the true manufacturing costs. This way there is nowhere for costs to be hidden, which is what is commonplace with sourcing companies who charge you one bill for all products with margins inbuilt into each product.
We also provide you with multiple freight quotations from external freight companies whom we have hand selected due to their reliability, freight network, and cost savings that they can bring our clients. (Additional cost savings, you’re welcome).
How much commission do you take from the factory?
None. We never take any commissions from the factory, we work for YOU. We are an extension of your company. We do a comprehensive unbiased/organic search for every single project based off your requirements.”
You get better results this way, and we have no obligation or requirement to be “nice” to the manufacturers if they make any mistakes.
Let us be very clear on this: We work only on your behalf and in the pursuit of your best interests, not our own, and not the factories.
How do you choose/recommend the factory?
We base our recommendations off a combination of factors: How suitable they are to your exact requirements (product, MOQ, price, quality, certifications). We assess our overall experience in communicating with them (responsiveness), displayed competence, export experience (did someone say “find me the exact supplier to my favourite brand?”) , factory size, their other customers (if they share the names), production time, the state of their factory facilities, and our general feel throughout each of our interactions with them.
Can you find us factories with particular accreditations or certifications?
Your wish is our command. Whatever your requirements, we will find the factory that meets your exact business/product/ethical needs.
If you want us to find a supplier with a particular certification, you must let us know which standard you’d like them to meet. We do this regularly, as some of our clients require organic materials certifications, pharmaceutical certifications, FSC timber verifications, and so on.
Can we visit the factory that you find for us?
Of course you can. We are totally transparent and would love for you to visit your chosen factory if you have the time!
This really helps to solidify a strong relationship with the manufacturers, our teams regularly visit factories on behalf of our clients – it creates a great bond and helps make things happen quicker.
Also if you as the customer decide to fly out to your chosen factory, the staff there will most likely want to take you out and treat you to their local delicacies – yum!
So, you have full power to contact the suppliers, and again we even give you their details for this! This is the entire basis of our service – to help you form a strong relationship with the suppliers. You can contact them, visit them, and anything else. All orders will be managed by us and that is to protect both yourselves and us. Having a team overseeing the ordering and keeping on top of production on a daily basis is where our value truly comes in – avoiding catastrophic headaches from arising.
“Unlike other sourcing companies we actually pass on all of the factory information and help you to place your orders… Most other companies will just purchase and re-sell the products to you so you never really know where they are coming from!”
Can you visit & audit my factories? Do you deal with Quality Control?
Of course! This is the whole idea behind having an entire global procurement team. We can visit your factories within 1-2 business days and perform a thorough audit of their facilities. We’ll send you photos & videos of everything you want to see, and can perform regular QC inspections to assess your products each time you make an order (before you pay the balance payment to your supplier).
This way you know exactly what is being produced and exactly what to expect when your shipment arrives. If there are issues with your goods then we can ensure the manufacturer rectifies these before they dispatch your goods.
Staff daily travel costs & expenses apply.
Do you just send me the quotes from a few suppliers?
No. Once we have collected at least 10 quotations (after approaching 30+ factories) we present you with formal reports on the top 2 performing manufacturers. These reports contain full company information & metrics, with photos of their products & facilities. They contain a summary along with our recommendations and the quoted pricing broken down into AUD (landed costings including our fees, freight, customs, duties and taxes) so it’s nice and easy for you to see the true cost of your goods.
How else do you help to mitigate risk for us?
We can put sales contracts together for your suppliers to sign – outlining defects, penalties for delays, production time and so on.
We have our multi-lingual teams draft these in your suppliers own native language so that nothing is lost in translation.
By having your Sourci local team member visit your new supplier, having our team speaking with your suppliers staff members in their own language, checking in with them regularly – all representing you and only you – this helps you build a strong relationship with your manufacturer. This is the best foundation for beneficial business practices, particularly in Eastern cultures as it builds trust.
Then, as soon as possible, we begin to leverage that relationship and reduce your cost of goods further – by renegotiating terms as your ordering behaviour becomes more prominent to your factory. An extra 5% reduction after a few months is a pretty scrumptious bonus, right?
Do you deal in Fair Trade?
Anything that is important to your business, is important to our business. Our assessment of a factory always incorporates a set guideline of minimum standards, however for any additional core values in your business we will pose the correct questions to the suppliers and ensure that you are comfortable with the final supplier you choose to work with. If that means we drill them on staff conditions and request photos, videos, payslips or whatever – then we’ll get them for you. Your desires set the framework for our project tasks.
We are frequently asked to find eco-friendly products, source recycled materials for components, and verify ethical factory practices.
I have a very unique product, how do you protect my IP?
We take your Intellectual Property (IP) very seriously. Sourci has helped bring so many great Austalian innovations to life, and we are regularly sending out customised Non-Disclosure Agreements (NDA) to manufacturers across the world – before they receive any sensitive information from us.
Sourci has a number of country-specific NDA agreements that are tailored to the laws in each manufacturing country. In China this is called an NNN agreement, for example.
If you have a patented or unique product, speak to us and we’ll advise on the best way to communicate with overseas manufacturers. As you might already know, there are varying levels of ‘care-factor’ amongst Asian countries when it comes to ripping off your valuable designs.
Further, in protecting your business as a whole, you will see on our standard sourcing agreement it stipulates that we will never share your product information or disclose your information to any other factories, competitors in your space, or in any way that would compete with or harm/damage your business. We certainly expect the same in return!
You’re safe with us. Different story with those online marketplaces.