China has been the production powerhouse of the world for a few decades and now is churning out products at an ever-increasing rate.
With so many overseas companies turning to Chinese manufacturers, it still can be hard for some of them to find a reliable and professional manufacturing plant that meets all their requirements and standards.
This article will explore some reasons why finding such a manufacturing partner in China is difficult, as well as offer advice on how to do so successfully.
If you’re an overseas company looking to make your first foray into the Chinese manufacturing world, this information could be critical to your success. Check out the five reasons why it’s hard to find manufacturing partners in China and start building your own business there today!
1. Factories Don’t Have Websites
With the development of the Internet and related technology, it’s pretty standard for companies to have some sort of online presence. This is especially true for manufacturing companies who want to show off their capabilities and reach more global clients.
However, many Chinese factories still don’t establish their websites. This can make it difficult for foreign companies to research potential partners and get a sense of their work.
Cost and human resources are the other two main reasons why smaller businesses would avoid setting up their websites.
Though these small and medium-sized factory owners may find the idea of having a website intriguing, many do not have enough money for both technologies and for hiring someone to set it up. Also, this could be way too expensive for them when compared with how much revenue the business generates annually or if there is even potential for any return from this investment at all.
2. Difficulty with Language
One of the main reasons it can be difficult to find a reliable manufacturing partner in China is the language barrier.
Commonly, most staff working at most Chinese factories don’t use English as their first language. Typically, most factories hire a few employees who can speak English to work with foreign clients, but there’s no guarantee of their English ability.
Communicating clearly to your Chinese supplier will make things easier for both parties involved. Don’t just rely on letters or phone calls, but show them what you want and need, and ask them to list them back to you in an understandable format.
The key to clear communication with your factory representative is clear, simple, and open. Even when you are communicating with someone who has a good grasp of spoken English, it’s best not to simply send them product specifications through email and assume they will understand all information without questions. Because sometimes people need clarification due to cultural differences or what they’re used to manufacturing versus what you want.
3. More Factories Are On 1688
Whether you are running a brick-and-mortar or an online retail shop, if you want to import products from China, then Alibaba can be a good start to reach out to many manufacturers.
However, if you think you get your desired goods at the best rates on Alibaba, you’d be wrong. There’s another B2B platform out there that boasts significantly more manufacturers providing lower prices for the same goods
That’s 1688. com.
1688 is the biggest and most popular Chinese wholesale platform that covers all manner of different goods including apparel, industrial equipment, home appliances, and more. Dozen of manufacturers sell their products directly on this platform rather than working with other trading companies. Some trading companies reach out to factories and then go on to resell their goods at higher prices on other platforms such as Alibaba, Aliexpress, Gearbest, etc.
So you may also want to find your ideal factory on 1688 right?
Yes, of course, you can. The only issue is that everything is written in Chinese, which helps cater to China-based manufacturers. It will be hard for those who don’t know any Chinese to locate a proper company to work with. And there are simply too many listings, products, and suppliers, it can be way too much to weed through, which makes it difficult for you to reach out to a reliable partner for your business. Additionally, as a domestically oriented website, they offer few payment options, such as Domestic Bank Transfers, Alipay, and WeChat Pay, which won’t allow international sellers or buyers access easily.
4. The Fuzzy Definition of Quality
When it comes to finding the best factory for your production project, quality is one of the most important paramount you need to pay attention to – but getting it right isn’t always easy.
Overseas companies often find themselves having difficulty defining product quality when looking for a Chinese manufacturer because everyone has their own opinion about what constitutes “high quality”.
Asking 100 factories about their concept of product quality nets you 100 responses. Some factories would say that quality means products meet all their in-house specifications and requirements; some mean there are no defects present and they comply with international standards; others make sure products are fully functional straight out of the box.
It’s hard enough trying to decide who has the highest level of product quality without this uncertainty over what exactly quality even entails making decisions even harder.
What’s more, every customer has different standards, and what may be considered high quality to one won’t always be accepted by someone else.
Overseas companies in other countries often have their own specific needs when importing goods, which makes it hard for factories in China to know exactly what they need to do to satisfy their customers’ requests.
It can be frustrating, right? Don’t worry.
International Quality Standards like the ISO family and IATF 16949 are essential for making high-quality products. These international tools can help you control costs, simplify compliance, and guarantee safe, dependable products.
5. Lack of Trust
Many foreign companies are hesitant to work with Chinese manufacturers because they lack trust.
From the supplier perspective, the main reason is cultural differences and a lack of understanding of the Chinese business landscape. China has seen an upsurge in small-to-medium-sized factories over recent years and they often rely on word-of-mouth referrals from individuals who share common needs to increase their customer base.
Typically, many of these small and medium-sized factories have established relationships with local networks that are other factories or trading companies, and they focus on making products for these domestic partners.
On the other hand, there have been numerous stories in the online forum or other social platforms saying that about Chinese factory’s stolen intellectual property or delayed deliveries which dissuade overseas businesses from partnering with a factory. This makes it hard for companies to take the leap of faith and partner with a factory in China.
The best way to overcome this problem is by building a relationship with the company you’re interested in working with. The more time you spend getting to know them, the more likely you’ll be able to build up that necessary level of trust so that your overseas company can get what they need from them.
Need Professional Help With Your Manufacturing Project?
Finding the right manufacturing plant for your project is quite a task. It takes extensive research before deciding to ensure you are getting the best deal.
To find a professional contract manufacturer in China, look no further than Shield Works.
With our British ownership and management background combined with manufacturing knowledge, we keep quality at the forefront. You don’t have to worry about any defective products coming out of our doors. As one of only a few businesses able to boast 17 years’ worth of experience under their belt in China and helping over 15,000 previous clients complete projects successfully and cost-effectively, we’ll provide all your questions answered on how to manufacture in China! Contact us to discuss your project today!