By Renaud Anjoran
Many new or inexperienced importers who are outsourcing their production to suppliers in China (or wider Asia such as Vietnam) for the first time go into the process almost blind. They’re later hit with crippling issues that can make the process a costly nightmare.
Because they were not aware of how to implement strong quality assurance in China/Vietnam and fell into some fairly common traps that can catch out ‘green’ importers.
It doesn’t need to be this way though. Read on to get my advice on what you must know about quality assurance in China or Vietnam…
A typical situation that I encounter with inexperienced importers
I have had many discussions with inexperienced importers that went like this:
Importer: At the beginning, all was going well with this supplier. But on the last order, we have had such and such issues. We don’t understand how things got so bad so quickly.
Me: How did you find that supplier? Have you visited the factory?
Importer: On Alibaba. No, no visit. We think it’s in Shanghai. We are not sure, actually.
Me: Have you formalized your requirements in some type of specification sheet or checklist, and got the supplier’s written approval of this sheet?
Importer: No. Everything seemed fine at the start, and our contact understood what we needed. Oh, and we don’t even know if he really works as an employee for the manufacturer.
Me: Have you checked quality before shipment?
Importer: No. We just trusted our contact. He was following so carefully at the beginning, we thought we were safe.
Me: Was there tooling? Do you have a contract that specifies ownership of that tooling?
Importer: Yes, we paid XXX USD for that tooling. No, no contract at all.
What is a root cause of all these mistakes?
Lack of awareness about basic precautions to take when buying in China (or Vietnam, or Cambodia, or India).
When buyers ask me what they need to know, I pretty much always give the same advice.
I just condensed it in a 14-page e-book. So, if you don’t have deep experience working with Chinese suppliers and you can only spend 20 minutes educating yourself, this is the guide you need.
This free eBook shows importers who are new to outsourcing production to China or Vietnam the five key foundations of a proven Quality Assurance strategy, and also shows you some common traps that importers fall into and how to avoid or overcome them in order to get the best possible production results.
Ready to get your copy? Hit the button below:
Renaud Anjoran has been managing his quality assurance agency (Sofeast Ltd) since 2006. In addition, a passion for improving the way people work has pushed him to launch a consultancy to improve factories and a web application to manage the purchasing process. He writes advice for importers on qualityinspection.org.