There is a multitude of checks and balances that need monitoring when dealing with a China supplier.
China Supplier Management Dynamic:
Managing this relationship is a major part of the sourcing process. One of my goals with this blog is to empower readers with valuable tips, tools and resources that can enhance their China Product Manufacturing experience.
Below are some posts and resources that can assist you.
Things to consider when vetting a new supplier:
- Have they manufactured my product before? You do not want a supplier who is also starting from scratch.
- Are they experience in dealing with importers? In other words, is their experience on selling domestically?
- Do they want to work with me? Culturally, its normal for a Chinese supplier to begrudgingly accept a project, do horrible on the job and then wonder why you insisted to work with them…
- Can I see longterm business with this vendor? Are they professionals in quality and do they look for areas of growth and improvement? Is the physical facility a vibrant and growing facility or is a dungeon that looks like it may close down at anytime?
Keep in mind that, in the beginning stages, as much as you are “feeling out” the China supplier, they are also “feeling you out”.
When looking for a new vending partner, part of China supplier management is looking for:
- Look for more than 1 vendor. In other words, vet a few vendor but I also recommend against scattershot shopping.
- Gauge a vendor by response time, but remember, a slow response is not necessarily signs of a bad supplier.
- Visit China when possible. If you’re looking for longterm business from a supplier, then a visit ranks more important. If you’re in an industry like the promotional product industry where you will work with multiple vendors and visiting is not practical in the near future; then lean heavily on professionalism.