A lot of you know we do custom packaging – it’s definitely our specialty. But what some of you don’t know, is how much goes into the acquisition of all the custom products we provide… and no, we don’t just supply bags and boxes. Our sourcing department works endlessly around the clock finding products at the most competitive prices around the world for our valued clients.
Before we talk about all the products we can supply, and what the individuals in our department do, you must be wondering: what is sourcing?
Definition of “Sourcing”
In the business world, sourcing is the stage that comes before we make a purchase. It involves finding and vetting suppliers from different areas and making the process as efficient as possible.
When sourcing, it’s important to find that fine balance between raw materials and affordability, which leads to our low, competitive prices. When you have an effective sourcing strategy in place, you’re able to find reliable, affordable, and quality suppliers. It’s difficult to source products because you also have to retain quality standards – of course, customers want and deserve high quality!
It involves requesting quotes from different factories, obtaining vendor information, and integrating them with current business practices. Before our sourcing department actually starts sourcing, they must do the following:
- Assess purchasing needs
- Devise a plan
- Conduct market research
- Identify the potential suppliers
What Can We Source?
Just because we specialise in custom packaging, doesn’t mean that’s all we do. Yes, we create a lot of bags, boxes, baskets and food-grade packaging… but what are some other common products that we provide?
- Pens and Pencils
- VIP Cards
- Coffee Mugs
- Paper Weights
- Glass Jars
- Stress Balls
- Chopsticks & Cutlery
Basically… anything you can put a logo on, we can source! All promotional items are available to be sourced, our team just has to find it for you.
Sourcing a Particular Product
The actual process of sourcing something is pretty complicated, so we’ve simplified it for you. Here are the 4 steps that our department has perfected to make the entire experience as stress-free for you and all of our clients.
STEP #1: COLLECT INFORMATION FROM THE CLIENT
Customers may have extremely specific requirements that we need to meet. This is where having a variety of suppliers comes in handy – we have a lot of options to choose from! We have to gather a lot of different pieces of information – you may not even think about some of the aspects, including:
… and that’s just to name a few!
Sometimes, we may not even have a supplier depending on the uniqueness of the product. If that’s the case, we have to research new vendors, go through their catalogues, review them, and assess whether or not we should do business with them. When it comes to non-packaging products, we look for vendors that also offer customisation options so that the process of customisation is as quick and simple as possible.
STEP #2: CONTACT VARIOUS SUPPLIERS
We’ve got suppliers in different parts of the world – what’s common in one area may be difficult to acquire in another. That’s why it’s essential to have suppliers and factories around the globe. Our department has a general idea of what products different vendors offer, so after narrowing down to maybe 5, we contact them to see what they can do for us.
Each supplier will have different products available, so our sourcing department gathers all of the pricing information based on different MOQs and compares each vendor for the best price to quality ratio. As a full-service packaging company, it is very important that we find the best option for our clients. By comparing the different prices against the client’s needs, we are able to provide the best option to make everyone happy!
Once we finalise the vendor, we have to go through the products themselves!
STEP #3: FINALISE PRODUCT & CUSTOMISATION
Okay, so at this stage, the supplier is chosen. Let’s start using examples, shall we? Say a customer wants to purchase a pen in their company colours with their logo printed for promotional purposes. It’s not technically a packaging product, so this is something that we would try to source for our client.
The vendor would typically have a variety of pens on offer, so the client will be receive their catalogue to choose which one they want to go with. In the event that the customer cannot decide just based on pictures, we get samples of the products and ship them to the customer for FREE! We understand that some products require feeling and touching in order to get a proper idea of the final item, and are willing to do what it takes to ensure the customer is happy and comfortable with their decision.
Once the product is finalised, the vendor will send us a mock up of what the item will look like with custom features, and in some cases we will receive a physical sample. This is typically done when the vendor is brand new to us, or if the item is especially complicated.
As soon as we have the go-ahead from our client, we start the fun!
STEP #4: PRODUCTION & SHIPPING PRODUCT TO CLIENT
After everything is figured out, the product gets customised to the client’s needs.
Next comes shipping, which LeKAC organises on behalf of the client, so all you have to do is wait to receive the shipment. We also take care of any issues post-purchase and post-delivery, and act as an intermediary between you and vendor.
How Long does it Take to Source a Product?
It depends on what needs to be sourced. Some items are easier to find than others, and a few different factors should be considered when asking how long the process will take:
- Do we have a supplier that has this product?
- Do we need to find a new supplier? (this will add some time as we need to vet any new supplier to make sure they are reliable)
- Are there a lot of components to the product?
- Is your product common or unique?
- Are there any holidays, political or environmental factors that may impede shipping times?
So we can’t really give you an exact timeline unless we know what the product is. However, we can say that, on average, it will take between 1 and 2 weeks, excluding shipping time. Yes, we also have different methods of shipping.
If you’re looking to get a particular product at low prices, give us a call for a personalised order schedule and quotation!