How to Navigate Challenges When Partnering With Chinese Manufacturers

How to Navigate Challenges When Partnering With Chinese Manufacturers

As China continues to hold its position as the world’s leader in manufacturing, many businesses have moved their operations overseas to reap the benefits. Lower taxes and labor costs, along with a more readily available workforce, make China an attractive place to manufacture goods. However, doing business with manufacturers in China can be daunting as companies try to navigate the cultural and language barriers. That’s where a team like East West Basics can help. We have been sourcing and manufacturing in China since 1998, making us the perfect partner to help you navigate these challenges.

Partnering with Chinese Manufacturers

There are certain tips and strategies that allow businesses to maintain successful and profitable relationships with Chinese manufacturers. Understanding which are the best business practices will keep your company protected against scams, downtime, and excessive delays. As a newcomer to the industry, it’s imperative to establish a strong network of relationships with Chinese manufacturers. This will prove instrumentally valuable in the long run. East West Basics is here to help simplify that process and ensure it goes off without a hitch. Follow these tips and you’ll have an easier experience working with Chinese manufacturers.

Prioritize Clear Communication

Communication can be the biggest hurdle when dealing with Chinese manufacturers. This may be particularly relevant in cases where the manufacturer’s English is limited. Communicating clearly will help avoid wrong orders, costly delays, and incorrect specifications. Miscommunication can lead to issues that impact the business relationship negatively. The first key to effective communication is to determine which language to use. Some manufacturers prefer Mandarin while others speak Cantonese. First identify how the manufacturer wants to communicate; the next step is to figure out if anyone on your team is fluent in that language. If they are not, it may be wise to consider hiring a translator.  One of the benefits of working with East West Basics is that our team is multilingual. This ensures that you won’t run into any pitfalls when it comes to mistranslation while working with your Chinese manufacturer.

Regardless of the language in which you communicate, the mode of communication (i.e., in person, phone call, email, text, etc.) can make all the difference in how quickly your goods get manufactured. Confirm the best mode of communication and stick to it; you’re more likely to get timely responses to your questions that way.

Get the Pricing Right

Proper pricing is pivotal for making a profit. The right pricing is a critical factor that can determine whether or not you remain competitive, but getting it right can be tricky. While it’s fine to negotiate the initial quotation, there’s a fine line between doing this and going too far with bargaining with the supplier. East West Basics knows how to negotiate with suppliers without nickel and diming. We’ll work with both them and you to get the best price at the best terms. Some manufacturers cut corners by using cheaper parts or inferior materials to keep manufacturing costs down. We won’t let that happen. One of our tactics is to establish a price baseline by getting quotes from several manufacturers. 

Educate Yourself on Cultural Practices

Chinese holidays are major events in China and often impact production. For example, the entire country tends to shut down around Chinese New Year. Failure to plan ahead for this can significantly impact your supply chain. You could end up losing thousands due to delayed shipments. Plan ahead to avoid delays, price hikes, and other issues.

Choose the Best Supplier

You need to know what you are getting when choosing a supplier for your products or materials. Not all businesses that advertise are the actual manufacturers. While some advertisers have factories, others are trading companies that act as middlemen or brokers between the factories and buyers. If you are new in the industry, determine the entity you want to deal with. Find out the pros and cons of each option. While it may be easier to deal with a trading company with staff who are proficient in English, dealing directly with the manufacturer is much cheaper.

Build Strong Relationships with Chinese Manufacturers

Building a relationship is essential when partnering with Chinese manufacturers. Carry out your due diligence and find out vital details such as physical address. Get product samples and visit the factor in person if possible. This will allow you to understand the manufacturing process, establish rapport, and discuss any customizations you may need. If you don’t have the capacity to visit in person, it may behoove you to involve a team like East West Basics. Our team physically goes to the factories before, during, and after production to ensure that goods are being produced at the highest quality all the way through.

Working with Chinese manufacturers can be a great way to cut costs while maintaining high quality production, but only if you do it the right way. East West Basics is here to ensure that all sourcing, manufacturing, and other processes related to the production of your goods go off without a hitch. For additional information, please contact us today!