China Sourcing Tips for Finding Quality Partners
Every year, thousands of companies turn to China sourcing in order to set up businesses or company branches in this booming country. Chinese partners offer a lucrative means of producing competitively priced goods as well as providing an inroad into nearby growing Asian markets.
However, not all Chinese partners are good to work with as some place quantity over quality, some are devious in their dealings, and others are simply too difficult to work with. Due to the number of hidden risks involved, it is prudent to follow specific guidelines when seeking China sourcing partners.
Here are some tips that will assist you with significantly reducing such risks by screening and choosing qualified companies to add to your shortlist.
Locating Good Suppliers
Following are some tips for finding good China sourcing suppliers.
Online Directories – Beware of partnering up with Chinese suppliers based solely on picks from online directories. Most of these websites do not effectively screen the companies before accepting them and suppliers usually have to pay a fee to be listed which doesn’t give the websites much incentive for ensuring their authenticity.
Background Checks – If you do find companies online, or from other sources, that you are interested in, ensure that you run background checks on them. You can obtain a “Business Credit Report” from Globis that will help to reveal the integrity of a company or if they are a complete fraud.
Request References – If a China sourcing company is legitimate then they will not hesitate to provide several customer references at your request. Once received, ensure that you check them out and find out the details of their experiences with Chinese partners. Companies that hesitate or do not provide references should be avoided.
Request Samples – Always request samples of products from any China sourcing companies you are interested in. The quality of the samples will reveal a great deal about their quality control measures. However, don’t rely solely on samples as most companies will send their very best, but still could supply you with shoddy products.
Personally Visit Factories – It is recommended to do more than make Chinese business contacts over the phone or internet. If at all possible, you should personally visit the factory, or send a representative to visit. If this isn’t possible, there are companies located in China that specialize in providing this service for a nominal fee. On your visit, you should tour the factory, inspect various products for quality, take note of working conditions, etc as well as ask any questions you might have.
Monitor Partners – Don’t make the mistake of taking a Chinese partner relationship for granted. The companies you partner with should be closely monitored, especially small factories which often do not have effective managing systems in place. Every shipment of goods should be inspected for quality as many suppliers will send quality products the first several shipments and then begin to send unsatisfactory products. Nip any problems in the bud as soon as possible.
Refuse Subcontracting – Subcontracting should be avoided at all costs. Many China sourcing factories will subcontract orders to raise their profits, but have no control of the quality so it usually suffers greatly. A clause stating the prohibition of subcontracting should be included in your contract.
Employ Professionals – In order to glean the best experience, it is recommended to employ the services of professionals who specialize in assisting with China sourcing. Asiatic Sourcing is a leading supplier of such services. We do all the footwork and ensure that Chinese suppliers are legitimate, responsible, and provide quality products.