Over the last few years, China has emerged as a major source of importing both raw and finished goods because of the price advantages that they offer. However, while importing from China, as a source of production outsourcing or as any finished product, it is important to set your quality standard.
The following are a few steps that you must always follow while importing any supply from China.
- Set realistic objectives
Sourcing from China can be very different from sourcing from any local company in your own country. Therefore, while importing from China you must be very clear with the following objectives that you must also communicate to your supplier:
- The agreed price of the item
- Delivery time and schedule
- Your quality requirements
There must be a clear and documented understanding made with your supplier.
- Find suitable suppliers
While selecting your supplier you need to adopt the following principle:
- It is not always necessary to look for only a big company with an ISO certificate or that offers the least price
- Look for a company that is more flexible to your demand
- Don’t go for a too-small company either
- Check thereliability of China inspection services
- Verify the company through few references
- Define your requirements clearly before production starts
When you have short-listed your suppliers in China then you must make it very clear to them the following requirements must be satisfied.
- Don’t get satisfied with their sample only
- Make sure that proper safety standards are adhered to
- Try to document all China quality inspection reports
- Ensure that their bulk production is as good as their samples
- Verify through quality inspection
You need to create a proper system to check the quality of the products that you are going to import from China. You need to appoint a certain China inspection company who should be able to check the quality of your product during production.
Besides that, there must be a random sample inspection of the product and there must be an agreed accepted quality level (AQL). You may also complement your testing through a certain third-party laboratory testing.
- Tie payments with your quality requirements
Your payment terms must be linked to the following so that you will have the power to release your money only when your quality requirements are met properly. This will ensure that:
- Your supplier will not be behind schedule as you may invoke a penalty clause for the delay.
- They will never refuse to do a proper quality inspection.
- Also, they will have certain pressure to do re-work if their supply ever fails in quality inspection
- Managing your suppliers for long term business
To maintain a long-term business relationship, you must follow this principle:
- Avoid too much chasing
- Don’t negotiate on quality
- Have a regular communication
- Listen to their suggestion
It will not be out of place to mention that you must appoint any local representative who is aware of the Chinese market to oversee all these aspects and also offers QC inspection services in China and coordinate with your supplier on your behalf.