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Managing the relationship with suppliers is not easy, we knew that. Miscommunication can lead to dispute, misunderstanding destroy the chemistry between the supply chain, misinformation cause improper decision and bad results.
The question is not if, but how! How should we communicate with Chinese supplier effectively. I have explained in details in last 2 articles on the principle we should adopt, the importance of communication, especially from language standpoint. In this article, I would like share our experience on how to deal with your Chinese counterparts.
Here is edition of "things you should know "when dealing with Chinese supplier by our seasoned sourcing experts, some of which is written into the training course to educate new colleagues.
Most suppliers are factories, especially when you dealing with small to medium sized factories, you should be aware that things might not go as well as you planned. Factories mostly locates at remote locations, so the workers in factory, in many cases, are under-educated. So be patient, teach the, guide them, lead them to right direction. Don’t take it for granted that every supplier will be capable and experienced enough as to deliver your products in a professional way and without any issue.
Trust is important
Company is not a bloody cold organization, it is a group of people with character. So dealing with supplier, in essence, is dealing with people, or to be precise, dealing with Chinese businessman. Don’t disguise yourself in business English, cold contract, promise, deadline, conditions and terms. You will find some casual greeting, care, love bring you closer to the supplier(the key persons).
Sign a contract
A contract, not a relationship or anything else can protect your benefit. Be careful with every clauses and terms. Hire a legal expert to draft and review the contract. But remember, contract and legal action is the last resort, it will be costly to file a lawsuit in China, time and money wise. So the best way dealing with Chinese supplier is to get the contract signed at first, try to communicate with supplier to get any issue solved in a friendly way, don’t threat to go to court for tiny mistakes from suppliers.
99% businessman are not scammers
Most people are decent businessmen, they try to grow their business in a legal way, not try to scam people. Some people are scammed when trying to buy branded products or others, but generally, like the people in China, businessman here are friendly and nice as well.
Prepare for mistakes
International trade is complicated, any mistake with specification, production, packing, shipping, communication and language translation can cause problem. The process of international trade is about how to avoid mistake and when mistake happen inevitably, how to solve them in a friendly way.
There are tiny percentage black sheep hidden out there, waiting for chances to cheat you. Due diligence is like covering insurance, it is all about probability. You don’t risk your business by taking chances.
Chinawhy has been providing sourcing, verification, QC, shipping and other trade related service to more than 500 overseas buyers since 2006. Email us at email@example.com or call us at 0086 451 8333 0781 to book the service.
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- How to negotiate price with Chinese supplier(factory) - Confession of a senior native chinese sourcing manager Part 1
- Managing relationship with Chinese supplier Part 3 Follow the common sense
- Manage relationship with Chinese suppliers part 2 – The communication
- Manage relationship with Chinese suppliers part 1 – How do you define the relationship