How to identify the “best fit” Chinese supplier/manufacturer
October 4, 2019
In this highly competitive world in which there are many possible Chinese suppliers and manufacturers for your goods, it can be difficult to identify the one which may be the “best fit” to meet specific needs and requirements.
In an April 2019 blog, we addressed a similar issue: How-to of Qualifying Suppliers in China. The question still remains, once suppliers have been qualified, how do importers know which one will be the best fit for their company?
Doing the legworkupfront, while understanding the pitfalls and challenges, will prevent headaches down the road. Any costs that may be incurred by doing research and asking questions first can potentially save importers from the expensive problems later as the result of making the wrong choice.
Many importers are already aware of the various factors which that qualify or eliminate a Chinese supplier. But what do you do with that information now?
Of course, there are many conditions that should be evaluated based on specific industries and needs, but these are a few that usually apply across many industries and products:
- Capacity: Is working with a factory that spans several city blocks, manufacturing product for many companies across various industries a priority? This type of factory may certainly have the capacity to fit a large range of products into their manufacturing line, but where will their priority be? How much attention will they give a smaller order? Importers will want to choose the factory that is of an appropriate size for their order. Does the factory have the capacity to scale as demand grows? Although importers do not want their products to be low on their priority list, they also want to ensure that they will have room to grow.
- Reputation: Who are other companies talking about in the industry? Avoid working with a Chinese supplier who is brand new, and instead review the company’s reputation and history as a supplier.
- Experience: Is it important to you that the Chinese supplier has manufactured similar products? Importers should also consider what type of quality is expected and whether the supplier will be equipped to meet those expectations.
- Location: Customers today are looking for instant gratification. What will the turnaround time be from order placement to shipping? How much will the shipping cost? Will the cost outweigh first cost savings?
- Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR): Based on individual company values and expectations, somethings may be non-negotiable when it comes to CSR. Can the Chinese supplier hold up to company standards as well as those of its’ customers?
As you can see, there are many relevant factors to consider when selecting a Chinese supplier. We suggest making a list of those parameters that will make the most sense for your product and your customers and evaluate each manufacturer against them.
We guarantee you that you will be very happy that you put in the effort up front to select the right Chinese supplier for your product. Your customers will also thank you!
By Jocelyn Trigueros