Solution to your Chinese product sourcing headaches

Solution to your Chinese product sourcing headaches
Sourcing products from Chinese suppliers has become a definite trend for acquiring affordable and quality products, which is especially beneficial when there are budget considerations. In the article "4 ways to search for suitable Chinese products", we talked about some tips on finding a suitable Chinese supplier to work with, but that’s not the end. Even after successfully navigating the waters of choosing a Chinese manufacturer, finding the right product and testing it for compatibility and agreeing on a price, there may still be some situations that can cause headache. spoke to some global systems integrators who shared their experiences with sourcing products from Chinese suppliers, and some situations they encountered.

Experiences working with Chinese suppliers

There is a lot of stigma associated with dealing with Chinese suppliers, such as they are hard to talk to and their product quality is unstable. Slowly though, things are starting to change. Everyone knows Chinese products are constantly improving. A common situation people encounter is the lack of support when sourcing from Chinese suppliers. Whether the issues are about technical support, customer after-sales support or plain communication, these commonly occur when sourcing products from Chinese suppliers.

Support from suppliers can falter because they are too preoccupied dealing with their sudden popularity in the market. “Chinese manufacturers do not respect partnerships,” said Sarwar Ibrahim Saeed, MD at WAN Company for Networking Technology. “In the beginning they focus on one company, but when their products become popular in the market and they receive inquiries from other customers, they will start selling their products to new customers.”

Technical support is lacking in certain areas, especially for small Chinese suppliers. William Goh, Director of ADP Tech shared a similar view. “They (small Chinese companies) do not have good technical support team in local areas, rather local integrators have to be innovative with the testing and configuration of the software themselves.”

M. R. Krishnan, Executive Director of India-based Adtech Systems experienced delays in shipment, and realized that there are dangers of working with small suppliers who were not transparent in their business. “When we place an order, we expect faster deliveries. But after we place the order and sent the payment, they told us it will take 20 days. That was not revealed to us while accepting the order,” said Krishnan. “Small companies, although they have lower prices, do not seem to be professional or transparent in business.”

Vlado Damjanovski, Director of ViDi Labs who spends a lot of time in searching, testing and measuring IP CCTV equipment provided an example when he purchased an IP camera tester but was not able to find any way to contact the manufacturer for inquiries. "Paying close to a $1,000 for a product, you would expect that you will get all the support contact details but that wasn't the case," Damjanovski said. "Chinese manufacturers (at least some of them) should understand that it is not only about the competitive pricing they are offering. It is about the after-sales support as well. They can either make the customers to be loyal forever or they can loose them forever. It is all about the long term relationship."

These scenarios that people encounter may seem disastrous, but taking a step back, are these problems solely seen in China? No, they also occur in other non-English speaking countries too. There may not be much that you can do about the suppliers, but how can you change to make your relationship work and get your business on track?

Chinese Product Locator helps you find trusted partners

To help with such pain points, has launched the Chinese Product Locator to help buyers find potential and trusted suppliers to work with based on your requirements, such an integration capability, order quantity, and product type. Fill out our form and we’ll recommend up to 10 suppliers tailored just for you!

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