5 Qualities to Look for in a China Manufacturing Partner
Finding the right manufacturing partner can be tricky, especially if you’re new to China manufacturing or just starting out with your business.
There are plenty of quality manufacturers out there, but it’s important to make sure that they have these 5 qualities before you enter into an agreement with them.
Only then will you know you can trust them and put your business in their hands without having to worry about things getting messed up along the way.
When you partner with a manufacturer, they’ll act as your vendor or factory.
This can be intimidating when you’re not sure what questions to ask or how much to spend.
A good China manufacturing partner will have knowledge of both manufacturing and international business and can help determine which factory or vendor is right for your product.
It’s important that your manufacturing partner understands what your product is, where it comes from and how it’s made—otherwise, how can he/she help you?
Skilled manufacturing partners are invaluable when it comes to navigating things like quality assurance, intellectual property protection and shipping logistics; manufacturers with specific knowledge will know exactly what questions you should be asking.
If you have questions, or something goes wrong with your order, it’s nice to know that your manufacturer is open and honest about what happened.
It’s no good if you don’t get your calls returned or emails responded to quickly and thoroughly.
If you need a manufacturer who will constantly track and ensure they are producing quality products, make sure you ask around and do research before settling on one.
Chinese business culture can be complex and difficult for outsiders to navigate.
If you plan on doing business in Asia at some point, it’s a good idea to find someone who knows their way around and won’t hide how they do business from you.
Communication is key with your new manufacturer.
Be sure you speak the same language.
If there’s a language barrier, it will make working together much more difficult and might lead to frustrations on both sides.
Make sure you clearly understand what your manufacturer will do—and won’t do—for you before signing any contracts or paying any fees.
You should be able to get an idea of their working style just by talking on Skype or even emailing back and forth for several weeks. (If they get upset easily when dealing with customers, it might not be worth continuing.)
If communication doesn’t go well at first, consider ending your relationship early rather than suffering through something that could eventually lead to problems down the road.
If you need much more timely response, you can also use WeChat, an IM chat app most Chinese use.
Many manufacturers offer low-cost goods and services.
Although it might be tempting to use one of these companies, it’s important that you remember that you are paying for more than just products.
Quality customer service can be lacking from low-cost companies; you’ll want to work with an manufacturer who makes you feel comfortable and is always willing to answer questions.
This can help build a relationship of trust between your company and your manufacturer, which will be beneficial throughout your business venture.
On top of that, having direct access to someone at your manufacturer’s facility will make communication easier as you enter into negotiations
5) Personal Relationship
You might think that saving some money is good enough of a reason to choose a manufacturer solely based on price, but keep in mind that it’s much easier and more enjoyable to work with someone you already know.
You’ll get more out of your partnership if you feel like there’s trust and camaraderie on both sides.
Plus, buying in bulk will allow you to negotiate better prices than if you were working alone.
Your personal relationship should be one that allows communication channels open at all times.
This can also be a reflection of his/her relationship with suppliers.
In China, especially when it comes to dealing with factories, maintaining guanxi(relationship) is extra important.
It can make direct impact on how your order will be made.
Shield Works has over 16 years of manufacturing experience in China. Feel free to let us know if interested!