Around the Lunar New Year holiday, tis the season for uncertainty and large margins of error when it comes to your China sourcing projects. Any time of the year, you need to double-check your quotes, right? Any time of the year, orders require control, right? Even more so during this holiday season.
Any quote you’re working on prior to the holiday season.
When the factory comes back to work, realize that the quote you have in-hand, is subject to change.
Remember, you avoid being “caught of guard”, by better scrutinizing your quotes. Let’s say the factory tells you they can do such-and-such after the holiday. After scrutinizing your quote, you realize they didn’t really think that aspect through and were just rushing you an answer.
You then make a mental note to yourself to retouch on that point after the break, instead of going forward full-force.
You have something on the table, but also know it may not be “in stone” and the safe bet is to double-confirm post holiday.
Before the holiday, if you know when you’re going to order, remind the supplier of when you hope to move forward. Ask them to specifically look for you once they come back to work. Avoid making a deposit too close to the holiday. You’ll risk the vendor holding your deposit and still the possibility of something suspect happen (i.e. changing a pre-confirmed specs, sales contact who made the invoice not returning to work, etc..)
As the holiday starts winding down, reconfirm quotes and specs with your vendor.
Have an email report ready that you send to the supplier once they are back in their office. Ask them to reconfirm “what we talked about before the Chinese New Year”. The update should simply be a path showing all previous steps.
If the sales person is back in the office but a bulk of the factory workers are not back yet and timing allows, ask your sales contact to carefully double-check specs.
If you give the impression that you are in a rush and are in hyper-need of detail, they’ll throw something your way, right or wrong, just to get you off their back.
For orders preparing to ship out right before the holiday.
Your vendor may likely rush the order. Vendors want to get paid before the break. They want the order to dispatch and they want you to be out of their hair. In other words, if something is on line and something is under works, they want to come back from the holiday with a clean slate.
On top of that, chances are, the buyer is riding the supplier to make sure the order leaves before the holiday.
If it’s a promotional product order, you may be working against a critical timeframe. There’s absolutely no way you could accept the item leaving 2 weeks later.
So if you’re rushing the factory and the factory is rushing themselves, the chances for error abound.
Let me know if there’s anything I missed.
Remember to sincerely wish your vendor a Happy and Prosperous New Year.
They are real people with real families and are looking forward to their breaks as much as you look forward to yours.