At China 2 West we hear about China Sourcing Myths all the time. Misconceptions about how manufacturing works in China are widespread, especially in companies sourcing in China for the first time. So we want to clarify the following 6 myths in this Blogpost:
Generally speaking, you always get what you ask for. Don’t simply accept delays or quality lacks. You’re not in the position to be forced to lower your expectations, you’re supplier is in the position to raise his performance. That’s not different in China than in any other country. If the supplier never delivers what you demand, then the supplier may not be the right one and you should look for another one.
If that would be the case, we probably wouldn’t be here. China’s world of business may sometimes seem like another planet. If you want to be successful you have to prepare yourself and find out as much about how business works in China as you can. One of the most important points you should be aware of is the value of business relationship, which is called “Guanxi“. It’s essential for business to build this relationship to your partners, which goes beyond what we know as networking. Also the culture and unwritten rules may be confusing from time to time and lead regularly to misunderstandings.
Be aware and prepared that things won’t work out like originally planned. We don’t say it’s not possible, but it’s highly unlikely. Of course there is a wide range of products and it depends on the complexity if and how much it will change. For most of the products it takes several prototypes and reconstruction to develop the optimal product. So along the way things like design, material or characteristics may be changing. Be open for those changes especially when people with years of experience give you advice.
That’s a point mentioned over and over but the bad connotation for “Made in China” products is still stuck in the people’s head. The mistake that is often made is to expect that you get products with high end quality for an unrealistic low price. But the thing is, if you buy shoes for 2 $, they will have the quality of 2 $ shoes, and that shouldn’t be surprising. Fact is, that if you want high end quality products from China, you will get them, it’s rather a matter of what you ask for than a matter of China’s production capabilities.
We wish that would be the case, but it’s simply not. Just because the factory produced you’re product once, complying your quality standards, that’s not a guarantor for all the following products to be the same. The truth is: quality may fade. It may happen that the person responsible for your product leaves the company and all of the sudden the knowledge and expertise needed is not available anymore. If you don’t perform quality control on a regular bases, that’s something you wouldn’t notice until it’s too late.
Don’t get us wrong, it’s a possible and sometimes also a good way, but what it is definitely not is easy. You have to imagine that under thousands of supplier there will maybe be a hand full that fulfill your requirements and expectations. Now, it’s not like those few matching ones look any different from the others on the first sight, so good luck with finding the right one. You have to evaluate if it really makes sense to invest that huge amount of time in research or maybe it would be a better solution to invest in an agency. At China 2 West we have more than 10 years of experience with sourcing in China and we have a qualified network of suppliers. If you want to save valuable time, we’re happy to find the right supplier for your product.
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