Your business is doing good, but you are still facing challenges in China or Asia. Others have walked the same path before. Differences in cultural and business habits is definitely not the origin of all the pitfalls of buying from China. Wading through the jungle of factories, workshops, trading companies until you find the right supplier can be exhausting. Today, we share 12 tips on how to get the best out of your Chinese supplier, with the help of your China quality inspection company.
1 – Conduct thorough Supplier Sourcing
The stepping stone to the success of buying products in China is supplier sourcing. If you are familiar with sourcing, you will know the difference between a trading company and a factory. Amongst the common pitfalls, look out for underqualified factories and wholesalers, too real to be true pricings, and fake safety certificates.
2 – Buy Samples from China
When possible, buying a sample is a good way to assess your supplier’s ability. If the sample is not available or that it is not what you asked for, you may need to search for better Chinese suppliers.
3 – Audit Suppliers you have vetted
Once you have processed all RFQs and samples made in China or Vietnam, it is time to book or conduct a supplier audit. A Quality Inspector, or engineer visits the premises of the Chinese vendor. During the audit, he or she assesses manufacturing capacity, safety, efficiency as well as overall management.
4 – Make sure Product Safety is covered
Product safety should not be a mere detail that you just brush off before placing the order because you “believe” your supplier is serious. Any business can be held liable if product is found unsafe, contains too much lead, phthalates etc… Look for incomplete, old or face certificates (FDA, CE, T.As). Ask a quality company in China such as JS Quality for help if necessary.
5 – Negotiate your Purchase Order terms
Pricing is key to the success and durability of your partnership with the factory in Asia, or vendor in China. However, negotiation does not include pricing only. Packaging, spare parts, warranty, delivery time and shipping terms are all worth negotiating with your supplier.
6 – Dot the Is and Cross the Ts
Are you 100% sure supplier is clear on each and every of your requirements? Now is the time to make a list and go through it with your supplier. For example, does the product bear a barcode? Does the package meet Amazon requirements? Best is to put it all down in writing and getting a formal confirmation before buying from China.
7 – Place an order and monitor production
Once all the blocks are in place, it is time to show your supplier that you are serious. Monitoring your orders will help you detect early on if manufacturing lead time will be honored or not. Plus, it allows your team to organize seamlessly QCs in China with a local quality inspector.
8 – Conduct regular Quality Inspections in China
A simple check of your goods before shipment from China is usually costless and always lowers your risks. China quality inspection is an efficient tool to assess and monitor your product quality. Rotating the quality inspector each and every inspection or two can prevent bias and keep your QCs as neutral as possible.
9 – Improve product and manufacturing processes
This is one of the cornerstone of your success in purchasing from China. Except the worse, and push towards the best. However, keep in mind that the more knowledgeable about your product and manufacturing you are, the easier it will be to find solutions to your quality problems in Asia.
10 – Nurture the relation with your supplier
Keeping a professional, but tight relationship with your supplier is key to the success of your partnership. Make sure that information flows both way. Also, get face time with your supplier. Don’t let your quality inspector be the only known figure in your company.
11 – Increase product basket if possible
Chinese suppliers have a common trait, a big appetite for quantities and large product baskets. After all, they don’t generate as much profit per unit as an importing business would. With larger quantities, usually come better trade terms too.
12 – Never lose touch with Chinese Top Management
Is that really necessary when everything is running smoothly? ABSOLUTELY! Any foreign business importing low cost goods from China has witnessed unprofessional, outright dishonest or irresponsible behaviors with Chinese foreign salesmen. Thus, being able to contact the General Manager can save you and your team a lot of wasted time and resources if things go sour with Sales.