Sourcing business built on loyalty

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 11 September, 2004, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 11 September, 2004, 12:00am

ONE HONG KONG company has created a global product development and sourcing business built on principles honed in the tea and spice trade by the founder's family in Asia over generations.

Those principles are loyalty to clients, quality products and principled business practices.

RT Sourcing's chief executive and founder, Canadian Caleb J. Hayhoe, said his company offered a bright future for passionate new employees.

'We opened our doors in 1993. From day one, I wanted to build a company based on excellence touching everything we do, driving our passion for improvement at every opportunity,' he said.

He has succeeded.

RT Sourcing is now a rapidly expanding, privately owned and debt-free company that presents an enticing opportunity for motivated merchandisers with the drive to become a part of the firm.

Employees who excel will be given the opportunity, in time, to become shareholders of the company.

RT Sourcing is looking to fill several merchandising positions in Hong Kong, the mainland, Thailand, Taiwan and Vietnam.

Merchandisers are the key commercial driver in the business.

The company structure is such that successful applicants will join one of five divisions - personal care, home decor, office products, memory keeping and promotional products.

'The interesting thing about these divisions is that each one has an anchor account that is in the top three in its industry,' Mr Hayhoe said.

Clients have stuck with RT Sourcing and virtually all have grown steadily.

As a result, the company has itself been growing at more than 50 per cent a year for more than 10 years.

RT considers itself a boutique sourcing company, thanks to the individualised attention it pays to clients and its custom design services. But with hundreds of millions of US dollars in turnover, it has enough scale and leverage to ensure clients get great prices, excellent quality and reliable service.

RT Sourcing is seeking enthusiastic, creative people to fill trainee positions and posts at the merchandiser and senior merchandiser levels.

Trainees should have a year or two of experience and be eager to learn and grow with the company.

At the merchandiser and senior merchandiser level, the right candidates should have at least five years' experience, with some expertise in a particular category, such as furniture or home decor.

'Our merchandisers are really project managers,' Mr Hayhoe said. 'They have to be commercially savvy. They have to be able to plan a project, not just pick up a phone and order from the same old factory. They have to think strategically, get heavily involved in all product details and know how to manage risk.

'Our company puts a huge emphasis on managing risk for all our clients,' he said.

RT Sourcing tracks and investigates every problem reported by a client.

'Any concern a client has is a big concern for us,' Mr Hayhoe said.

He said RT Sourcing had an open culture and staff were encouraged to speak up and to be accountable.

The company also prides itself on its integrity.

'Clients will forgive mistakes if we come to them honestly and with solutions,' Mr Hayhoe said.

But that hardly seems an issue with RT Sourcing. 'We have never missed a major programme that we have committed to out of thousands,' Mr Hayhoe said.

This success can be attributed to staff members who pay attention to detail and are ideas-driven.

'This is not the kind of job for someone who has a nine-to-five mindset,' Mr Hayhoe said. 'We need people who are organised, proactive, committed and forward-thinking. Creativity helps a great deal.

'They have to be able to know a client inside out and to develop just the right product collections for them by working as part of a global team.'

While the company has teams of designers in various locations, merchandisers are involved in briefing and managing both the creative and the engineering process. They must keep up with the latest trends, be confident enough to make suggestions to clients and then translate creative concepts into winning products.

'It is a fun and challenging job,' Mr Hayhoe said. 'RT Sourcing looks to its staff to be part of a team, to build the business, to really get inside the client's head and understand their business.'


RT Sourcing is a rapidly expanding, privately owned and debt free company.

It is looking to fill several merchandiser positions in its Hong Kong, mainland and Asia offices.

Merchandisers play a key role in the business and work in business units focused by industry.

Each merchandiser will join one of five divisions in the company - personal care, home decor, office products, memory keeping and promotional products.

The company has been growing at 50 per cent a year for 10 years.