Chinese product sourcing is booming all over the world, thanks to its attractive prices and improving quality and standards.
Chinese product sourcing is booming all over the world, thanks to its attractive prices and improving quality and standards. In some price sensitive countries, products from China are becoming increasingly popular. According to Abiodun Odewale, CEO of Homcon Engineering
, a systems integrator (SI) in Nigeria, the quality of the products may have been a concern before, but opinions on this have begun to change. “There was a perception that Chinese products are of inferior quality. This perception is changing at a fast pace. In the Nigerian market, especially the elites are beginning to trust products from China,” said Odewale. “This is really pushing the growth for Chinese brands in Nigeria and that explains why people like us like to source for some relatively affordable but good quality products from China.”
Vlado Damjanovski, Director of ViDi Labs
, a consulting company specializing in CCTV and digital imaging also saw an improvement in the quality of Chinese products. "The era of low cost and bad quality products, predominantly from China, is slowly coming to an end. Many Chinese manufacturers start producing much better quality products now," said Damjanovski. "They start investing in their own R&D, rather than copying, and this undoubtedly raises the overall quality of their cameras and recorders. It is much more rewarding when you are an innovator rather than a copier."
It seems like sourcing products from Chinese manufacturers has become nearly impossible to avoid for most companies in order to get projects rolling. For some system providers, to ensure the compatibility of products is a critical consideration. For example, ADP Tech
looks for products that work with their physical security information management system. “Usually the cameras need to be ONVIF compliant. Conformance to profiles is the only way that ensures compatibility between ONVIF conformant products; therefore, only registered products with conformance to a profile are considered to be ONVIF conformant,” said William Goh, Director of Singapore-based ADP Tech. “We will work with Chinese manufacturers based on this requirement and test and trial on the stability of the camera’s quality and performance as a fundamental for decision making.”
Here are fours things to include in your checklist that will help you find a Chinese partner.
Research the suppliers via the internet
There are various ways to choose a suitable partner in China, from finding if the products suit your requirements, if they are able to produce the required quantity, to how fast they can deliver the products. Initial internet search helps to root out questionable suppliers, but there are more steps that need to be taken. Sarwar Ibrahim Saeed, MD at WAN Company for Networking Technology
, a distributor based in Iraq, lists down the steps he goes through in order to find a good Chinese brand:
- Research the supplier’s website to see their company information and the products provided.
- Compare products with other brands in the market, and check the product’s design, capability and technical descriptions.
- Check video reviews to determine the camera’s quality.
- Communicate thoroughly via email, Skype or any communication tools to understand what they are doing.
- Place a sample order less than US$1,000 and let the technical team test it.
Ask for experts’ advice
To do product sourcing more efficiently, asmag.com also provides a Chinese Product Locator service
that help buyers find the Chinese products they are looking for. Simply specify your requirements, and we will save you time by providing a list of companies that provide products that fit your needs. Check it out here
Visit their factory
If you plan to move a substantial amount of your business to China, it is recommended to visit the supplier in person. This will help you to get to know your contacts better to reinforce cooperation and build potential partnerships. Besides from building relations with the supplier, visiting the factory will give you further insight on its working environment. “Before I decide to partner with a Chinese supplier, I will make a few visits to their factory to understand their product processes and quality control. I need to know how many products per day that they can produce and what is the failing rate,” explained Goh. “Only with this data, I will then make my mind to partner with them. Till date, I am still working very well with them.”
Attend trade shows
Depending on where you are situated, it is not always possible to make multiple trips to visit the supplier you want to work with. The good thing is Chinese suppliers are eager to branch out and meet people to work with too. These suppliers can also be found at trade shows and events to promote themselves and network. Most of the big security shows out there actually even group Chinese manufacturers together to make finding them easier. “I do make sure I attend events and network with Asian manufacturers with products of interest,” said Odewale. “These are reliable platforms where I consider serious manufacturers should showcase their products.”
There are many precautions that need to be taken when navigating the sea of Chinese manufacturers out there. By doing the research, meeting the suppliers and testing the products, you have completed the first steps on locking down a partnership that will help you start your project.