Regardless whether you’re currently sourcing or purchasing from China, if you’re in the industrial products industry you’ve probably come in one morning, opened your mail box and found one of these:
We are a key enterprise Established in 1985, specialized in rubber sheets in China, having a staff of over 1,200. We integrate scientific research, production and sales as a whole.At present, we can produce various series of rubber sheets, rubber mat, reclaimed rubber and waterproof coiled materials, rubber running track, sports court, rubber equipment, motorcycle parts. Moreover, the products also can be customer-made according to customers’ requirement or need. Our monthly capacity is 4,500 tons of rubber sheets, 2,500 tons of reclaimed rubbers and 300, 000 square meters of waterproof coiled materials. Most of them are selling well to Europe, America and Southeast Asia.
And if you’re like me you’ve noticed the frequency of these emails showing up in your inbox has increased over the past several months. It seems amplified manufacturing costs and slowing demand has forced these suppliers to market to everyone with an email address.
While these emails are mostly annoying to those who have no interest in sourcing, they can be a pleasant surprise to those searching for product related cost reductions. At least that’s what the purchaser believes when the supplier sells them. However in reality, most all quality suppliers (that we’ve come across) in the industrial products market are far too established and busy to be marketing this way. The ones who do, are usually the younger more aggressive suppliers with minimal manufacturing experience (on the world scale) looking to take advantage of the China sourcing wave. This means by the process of deduction you’re more than likely dealing with par to sub-par manufacturers that have a whole host of issues. Including:
- Focused Purely on Production – The culture is to get the products out the door as fast as possible regardless of quality as they are generally paid per outputted piece.
- Not long term focused – There is no long term investment/customer strategy, the focus is instead on taking and producing the order no matter where or who it comes from.
- Carefree work attitude – Owner/managers/workers all don’t care about the aesthetics, design or defects in the products they make. Attitude is to produce it with minimal effort to save cost.
- Frugal – Usually owners are not interest in purchasing, developing or trying new methods that would allow them to produce a better product because change is associated with increased costs.
- Yes – Common response to all questions and requests. You soon realize they can’t do what they say they could and you’ve wasted your time.
Now as I’ve said in the past, I believe you can get N.A. quality out of most suppliers, you just have to be willing to fully invest your time, money and effort. These are not small investments and let’s be honest any purchaser who receives an email like above, does some internet research on the factory, orders samples, then places a container order hasn’t fulfilled 1/10th the workload necessary to receive a sellable product for the N.A. market.
The bottom line. Sourcing from China is hard work and will not work when minimal effort is put forth on either side of the equation. My advice if you want to source, find the best, instead of trying to use the rest to find success.