Every year, thousands of startup companies turn to China sourcing in this factory of the world. 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.
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 find companies online, or from other sources, ensure that you run background checks on them.
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.
Visit Factories –If possible, you should personally visit the factory. On your visit, you should tour the factory, inspect various products for quality, take note of working conditions, as well as ask any questions you might have. If you cannot do it personally, hire a QC professional to do it on behalf of you.
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 fail to control the quality later on. Get involved in production process as early as possible.
Refuse Subcontracting – Subcontracting should be avoided. 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 get the best results, it is recommended to employ the services of professionals who specialize in assisting with China sourcing.