The U.S.-based holistic healing company, with roots in traditional Chinese medicine, aimed to enhance the quality of its acupuncture needles. The objective was to identify an alternative supplier in South Korea capable of meeting their stringent quality requirements and fostering a long-term partnership.  

Objectives and Approach

Dragon Sourcing undertook a two-stage approach to identify and engage suppliers. The first stage involved demand and supply analysis to define the product specifications and identify potential suppliers. This included telephone pre-screening based on agreed criteria, followed by RFI/RFQ development, administration, and analysis. Stage two entailed supplier audits, sample testing, and contracting. The project spanned 15 weeks, with the first stage planned over eight weeks. Each stage involved steps ranging from prescreening to finalizing contracts.  

Sourcing Process

Dragon Sourcing identified and pre-screened 9 suppliers, with 8 moving forward after an 88% pass rate. Only two of the eight suppliers who received the RFI/RFQ intended to respond. Suppliers cited complex certification processes, unsuitable production lines, and a lack of interest in the project’s requirements as reasons for non-participation.  

Order Quantities and Pricing:  

Initial Order Quantities:

  • 300,000 needles each for 40 gauge 0.5 inch, 36 gauge 1 inch, and 40 gauge 1 inch.  
  • 100,000 needles each for 32 gauge 1.5 inches, 30 gauge 2 inches, and 30 gauge 3 inches.  


  • Prices ranged from $9.32 to $12 per 1,000 needles.  

We selected 2 suppliers for sample testing, and both successfully passed the evaluation. We conducted final negotiations to secure favorable commercial terms, which resulted in the selection of one supplier that met the client’s stringent quality and compliance needs.  

Dragon Sourcing’s sourcing strategy enabled the client to secure a reliable supplier, ensuring a consistent supply of high-quality acupuncture needles. Dragon Sourcing’s meticulous supplier analysis, along with a comprehensive pre-screening and auditing process, yielded a sourcing solution that perfectly aligned with the client’s objectives.  

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