Factors to Consider When Buying from Abroad

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2.0. FACTORS TO CONSIDER WHEN BUYING FROM ABROAD
(Ng’holombi D.W. –BBA Procurement & Logistics Management, CPSP)

2.1. Identifying a Supplier:
An international buyer, among other things to consider is where he or she is going to source his or her requirements. To many buyers especially who are starting this transaction, always suffer a lot of problems and some times they end into buying from unreliable suppliers. It is very important to put in mind that, identifying a supplier is a professional approach and the buyer is subjected to understanding various sources of information on different suppliers as to his or her requirements. 2”An important part of the work of a buyer, whether the buyer is operating in the domestic market or international, is ‘sourcing’. In many developing economies, where buying firms are just beginning to explore the international market, the major difficulty is to locate potential suppliers in the global market. Fortunately the advent of global network is of information regarding not only the suppliers, but also, also almost any detail required regarding their products is accessible to buyers in most countries.”

In the international buying perspective, a buyer can fetch information on different suppliers from different sources like; Internet, where a number of suppliers display their functions in their web sites. If this is not enough, other sources are the international trade fairs where a buyer can visit physically and collect information on different suppliers he likes. Embassies and Chamber of commerce are also reliable sources of information suppliers. Banks are another source of information about suppliers as they are connected to financing international trades and have experience in dealing with importations. There are oversea directories, which are international publications with collection international trade news, therein are published different suppliers with their respective products. Another reliable sources are Oversea based companies which are multinational firms with manufacturing facilities all over the world. A buyer can get information on different suppliers with a branch manager of this type of firms in his or her country. A buyer is also advised to make direct contact with different friends or business colleagues especially those who have visited and worked with different suppliers in different place world widely.

An example on this context is the Sabasaba (Mwl. Nyerere) International Trade Fair in Dar es Salaam Tanzania where by different suppliers every year exhibit their businesses. This makes easy to select international Suppliers.

2.2. Specifications.
Preparation of specifications when deciding to buy is very important issue to consider. A wise buyer some times spends a lot of money for preparing specifications to make sure that they are simple and not ambiguous in understanding of the supplier. However specifications can be in terms of; brand name, end use, physical description, drawing, sample, catalog or code number, national or intentional standards and method of manufacture.

Specifications save a number of purposes as; they communicate to professionals in what to buy, they also communicate to prospective suppliers what is required, with specification, tangible goods and services are provided and hence maintain warranty, maintenance and support. For example, when one wants to buy a computer, he/she should have to specify, by Brand name, shape, Pentium (generation), capacity of RAM, Hard disk, Say; Toshiba, Desk top, Pentium 4,RAM capacity 64 Mb, 40GB HDD. 2.Mrope N.(2005) Understanding International Purchasing (pg. 22) 3.“The purchase specification form the heart of procurement whether or not the purchase order or contract will be performed to the satisfaction of the buying organization frequently is determined at the time the specification is selected or written.”

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