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Product sourcingAlan is a veteran of low cost country sourcing in China, Asia, Central and Eastern Europe having sourced from overseas suppliers for over 15 years, for last 12 years he worked within multi national corporations (MNC's) in the demanding retail environment, with all the challenges that brings suppliers to the large global retail companies such as Tesco, Asda Wal-Mart and Metro Group.

China agentDuring this time Alan, has always pioneered low cost country sourcing, initially sourcing in Central Europe, North America and Eastern Europe and finally sourcing in China and Asia. Alan's overseas sourcing in these developing areas regularly preceded and exceeded other larger sister companies within the MNC's, resulting in other group companies using the same supply chain to allow further volume leveraging to take place for greater cost reductions in terms of unit costs and freight consolidation costs.

China supplierAlan also protected the organisations he worked for and their marketing brands and CSR, by drawing up Ethics policies and ensuring supply chains and also arranged pre audits of suppliers to ensure compliance before and goods were purchased by the customer.

Source in ChinaTo initially source, then develop as a possible supplier and finally manage on an on going basis as a mass production supplier, Alan has had to travel extensively, during the last 8 years he has spent over two months a year outside the UK (at some points spending over 50% of his time in a year outside the UK). This extensive time has helped him to understand different cultures and ways of working and in particular relating to sourcing in China and Asia a deep knowledge of Guanxi, which he has supplemented with learning Mandarin Chinese.

Import from ChinaWhilst learning at the Purchasing coalface, Alan has striven to supplement this practical knowledge with formal theoretical knowledge which has lead him to attain full membership (MCIPS) of the Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply (CIPS), which is an internationally recognised body and Purchasing qualification. Keen to understand more, and expand his theoretical knowledge base he acquired a Masters of Science degree in Procurement (MSc) from Glamorgan University (a top 5 University in the UK for Business Masters degrees).

Sourcing agentAlan, also sits on the panel of the Purchasing Manager's Indices (PMI's) for over two years, the PMI's are compiled by Markit Economics / CIPS / Royal Bank of Scotland (see Useful Links) which is used by central banks, politicians and media personnel across the world for forecasting purposes.