Understanding the procurement process

The promotional products industry in Asia is big, and it’s not going anywhere. As promotional products become more popular, the promotional product industry will continue to grow. But with growth comes problems. Namely, how do you get noticed? How do you get your promotional products into the hands of people who might want them? And how do you make sure that no one else has what you have to offer?

The answer to all three questions lies in understanding promotional product procurement. If you know where to look for promotional items, if you know which vendors are best suited for your needs and why they’re best suited for your needs, then finding what’s right for your business becomes a lot easier!

Fortunately enough, there are procurement agents in Asia to help and get you the best pricing or you can read on to learn all about procurement in Asia.

What is the procurement process?

Procurement is the practice of streamlining an organization’s procurement process in order to achieve desired results while saving cost, reducing time and building win-win supplier relationships. Procurers can use direct or indirect methods which are reactive depending on their intent; proactive ones are aimed at being more creative with new ideas for improving things from both sides so everyone wins together!

We break the process into 3 phases and you can read about it in detail here.

  • Procurement Process Phase one includes: Design, Engineering, Prototyping, Legal and Key accounting
  • Procurement Process Phase two includes: Sourcing, Procurement, Merchandising, Mass Production
  • Procurement Process Phase three includes: QA, Fulfilment, Logistics
  • TLDR: This is a brief overview.

    • Phase 1 –  We start with Need recognition before jumping into the design phase. Once we have an agreed design, we begin Engineering the prototype and take care of any patents. This is all done in our Prototyping Facility in Bangkok and facilitated by a key account manager you are assigned.
    • Phase 2- Next as leading Sourcing Agents in Asia we have an extensive sourcing network which spans Shenzhen, Ningbo, Manilla, Bangkok, Ho Chi Minh and Phnom Penh (to name a few). Next, we start procurement of the materials and also consider sustainability and Ethics. Our merchandising team is there to make sure the strategy is aligned with the market and also to maintain the quality during procurement. Finally, we begin Mass Production at the end of phase 2.
    • Phase 3 – Begins with testing and inspection of products by the merchandising team, a process we take very seriously to maintain top quality. Once we are happy we begin the fulfilment and logistics process, or in other words, we deliver the products to you.

    The benefits of understanding the Procurement process

    With understanding comes the ability to see where it might be improved. For example, a promotional products company in Asia may source items from a Chinese manufacturer but the supplier doesn’t have a quality control team. Obviously, good Quality Assurance (QA) means you get fewer faulty items which mean fewer disputes and less cost.

    UCT (Asia) offers a turn-key Procurement service and we can offer you a QA process to ensure your promotional items are of top quality and don’t fall apart which is something best done before mass production begins.

    Understanding what a contract is and why it’s important

    A contract is a formal agreement between two or more parties. It can be written, oral, or implied. Contracts are often used in business to ensure that both parties understand what they are agreeing to do and what the consequences will be if one party fails to uphold their end of the bargain. This includes things like how much money each party has agreed to pay for goods or services when payment is due, and whether there are any penalties for late payments. A contract may also include information about who owns intellectual property created during the course of fulfilling an agreement (such as software code).

    Procurement Contracts form the foundation of a business relationship and set forth parameters for deals including:

    • Vendor selection 
    • Product selection (i.e., what you want to buy)
    • Vetting
    • Payment terms and conditions
    • Contract negotiation
    • Product management (ordering, payment and delivery)

    Hiring a business partner is an investment in trust. It is important to have a secure procurement contract in order for businesses and suppliers to rely on each other. To maximize profits, buyers need their vendors’ trust while sellers are looking out for the agreed upon compensation they will receive from transactions- which means both parties must be sure about what they’re getting before making deals happen. An effective procurement contract will boost compliance, save money and solidify business relationships.

    Simple Tips for preparing to sign a contract with a vendor or supplier – do your research, ask questions, read everything carefully before signing anything and don’t be afraid to negotiate.

    Alternatively, look for a Procurement Agency to help you navigate the procurement process. Thanks to extensive sourcing networks and years of dealing with suppliers in Asia UCT (Asia) is ideally placed to help you streamline your procurement process.

    We hope this article helped to inform you about what it means to understand the procurement process, why understanding is beneficial along with what contracts are and their importance.

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