When it comes to providing detail, suppliers in China are generally tight-lipped.

It may seem like, especially after you make the payment, suppliers’ updates are brief and at most a few sentences.

Let’s just say the proactive info flows more like molasses instead of a river.

Therefore when your supplier IS informing you something or putting together an update that is lengthier and including some form of explanation, take time to think about:

What are they saying or at least trying to say?
What are they not saying?

Consider, the update from the supplier must be important or else they would not have bothered to email.

Not listening to advice from the supplier generally takes the following form…

The supplier sends the buyer a longer, perhaps an overly wordy email.
The impatient buyer receives the communication and skims through it.
The buyer notices attempted, technical explanations but in the end, the buyer seems to think and respond by saying, “yeah, yeah, whatever, just get me my goods and be sure the quality is perfect”.

Time passes and and the buyers catches a difference in production or even what’s considered a mistake and grills the supplier as to “how this happened!?”

The supplier says, “we tried to tell you in that explanation”, meaning, that explanation the buyer did not take seriously and read.

The problem is, is that manufacturing from China is not like ordering a steak plate in the restaurant.

Do not assume that just because your “order is in”, that the kitchen is back there whippin’ it up.

Instead, assume there needs to be further discussions.

Forward movement does not infallibly happen at the “wave of a hand”.

Manufacturing in China requires a different kind of back-and-forth. This back-and-forth consists in emails and sometimes struggling to figure out what the supplier is saying.

Don’t dismiss updates from suppliers; this may include explanations that you are especially excited about sifting through, but its work that needs to be done.

A complicated, hard-to-understand email is not an email that should be ignored....it may required a deep breath and follow-up from you side.

A complicated, hard-to-understand email is not an email that should be ignored….it may required a deep breath and follow-up from you side.

Although suppliers in China infamously have the reputation of NOT reading the entire email and responding to every point that YOU send, they actually have the opposite impression of buyers.

The supplier believes, that as a buyer, you carefully read and consider every point they send.

The supplier does not assume that if you did not respond or you responded strangely that perhaps you are not comprehending the issue at hand.

Suppliers very much assume and bank on your silence equaling a confirmation.

That assumption, whether right or wrong, helps them create less back-and-forth, which neither side seems to want.