Sourcing & Procurement Services

As an importer, you can forget about items going back to China for repairs or replacement should you find faults.

Your main risk in business is choosing the wrong product and/or wrong supplier.

Manufacturers like everyone else do learn from errors, just make sure they don’t do that on your skin.

While customization is a must, making radical changes to an existing product, or sending a new one into production has several risks, like a high defective or discard rate. Despite all promises the supplier might make, when a problem as such takes place, someone will have to take the heat, and most likely it won’t be the manufacturer.

If you are in such a scenario of innovation and experimentation, start slow, take your time to experiment, make relatively small production runs, and go big only after you are sure the situation on the production line is stable.

Besides proper knowledge about the specific product and business on your side, you will also need to keep up a good QA strategy.

Absolute necessary steps are:

  • Factory visits and auditing: verify beforehand the physical production capacity and experience of the supplier.
  • Quality and stability checks: be present in the factory before, during and after production.

Selecting the right supplier: make sure to only work with proper partners

Every supplier will say what you want them to say. To most of them, you are just an order to catch. It is therefore on you to check who really has what it takes to carry out a good job.
This means putting somebody on a plane to conduct a proper evaluation. Do not even remotely consider sending out downpayments before that is done.

Luckily enough, many productions are concentrated in specific areas in China, therefore visiting 3 or even more candidate suppliers on the same trip is often relatively easy.

Quality control: get what you paid for

Problems need to be found, if not earlier, at the very beginning of the production.
Should an issue be discovered anytime later, huge resistance and levels of controversy will arise with the supplier, who will of course refuse to see his profits evaporate into repairs and additional work expenses.

In such a situation, something which proper planning and caution would have avoided, a painful negotiation will ensue, with the suppier likely asking more time or money to achieve your desired level of quality.

It is therefore paramount to be clear with the supplier on every aspect of the product well before production is started and delivery date promised to the final buyer.

The final buyer in fact, will care little if anyhing about the importer “china troubles”, and will be ready to hold you accountable for every mishap.

Study the product in all of its aspects, choose the supplier wisely, and your business will move forward without impediment.