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How to Contact a Chinese Manufacturer Effectively?

2024-02-22
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China is the ideal location for manufacturing products. It is a logical choice for companies seeking to produce on a broad scale due to the country's size and population. Finding the ideal supplier in China is crucial for your e-commerce business. Having a trustworthy supplier can guarantee that your product is of the highest quality, minimizing customer complaints that could result in an unintended loss for the company either in the form of refunds or brand reputation.

However, many businessmen may have no idea about how to contact a Chinese manufacturer effectively. If you are not sure what you are looking for or where to begin your search, this may apply. Contrary to popular belief, Chinese manufacturing is of a very high caliber.

China manufactures goods for the worldwide economy; hence it is without a doubt regarded as the world's factory. Chinese manufacturer is excellent at producing a variety of goods at low costs, which enables luxury brands and international corporations to charge a premium using patents or brand reputation. If you are aware of all of this, buy from Chinese manufacturers can be a good option for most businessmen.

Contacting a Chinese manufacturer can seem difficult and time-consuming. Let us face it, it is not a straightforward undertaking since not everyone knows Mandarin, it is difficult to work out all the intricacies of where to begin.

Before we discuss how to contact Chinese manufacturers, we suggest that you must start as early as possible and find Chinese suppliers online. We advise you to budget at least a month for finding the ideal manufacturing partner, as well as several additional months for completing design work, creating moulds, and starting the manufacturing process.

Any manufacturer you come across initially appears to be your sole option. We advise creating a list of 10 suppliers you can speak with directly to get things started. The feeling of scarcity is lessened when you establish contacts and bargain with the most promising producers by compiling a broad list.

How to contact Chinese manufacturers effectively

The following are a few sources available to contact Chinese manufacturers but before using these sources, it will be worth knowing them well so that you can create your strategies on how to contact them.

WeChat

The "super App" in China is WeChat. Everyone owns one, and they all use it for online shopping, bill payment, online purchases, text and voice messaging, and video calling.

Even though it may be simple, by conducting business there, you run the risk of blending it into all of their other activities and interactions with friends and family, making it difficult to tell your business from your personal conversations.

Would you even be aware if someone quits their job at your supplier but continues to communicate with you? This might cause their new trading company, for example, to receive your orders instead of the original supplier.

WeChat is essentially forbidden for use in business communications. If a supplier does affirm something there, we ask them to confirm it again by email because it could otherwise be difficult to track down crucial information.

Messages sent here might not be preserved and might be difficult to locate later to verify a crucial point. At the very least, they will be disorganized from the influx of numerous personal communications.

WeChat is also not secure. The government could access anything spoken there. For many Western businesses, this can be a problem.

Email                                                                                                                                 

Email can be saved, archived, and searched for certain messages rather easily. Although it is a terrific option for business communication and unquestionably superior to WeChat, it can eventually get clumsy.

Instead of writing everything as a paragraph, it is possible to give structure to communication by providing a clear list of questions and asking that each be answered in turn in the follow-up letter.

If a chain of emails requires a day for each recipient to receive a response, it may be a cumbersome method of communication (so structuring email becomes all the more necessary).

Project management software

Software like Trello, Asana, and Basecamp are frequently utilized, and this is a step above email. They can be slow to use in China, especially for uploads and downloads, and Chinese suppliers don't utilize them very frequently.

However, they have advantages, such as the ability to set due dates and tasks, organize things in categories, and make searches relatively simple.

Some importers arrange a weekly video call with their major suppliers during which they go over the tasks included in the project management programmed, discuss the status, and solicit comments on each one. This is a great way to hold vendors accountable because it lets them know you will demand responses.

Ding Talk

Due to its familiar layout, Chinese employees enjoy and quickly utilize Ding Talk, a premium Chinese business App. The ability to send to-do lists, designated parties, and dates directly to a person's phone, which in China is the major focus of attention, makes it useful for task management. It is much better than WeChat and much more secure.

It is likely simpler for western clients to embrace this than to demand that Chinese suppliers utilize PM software from the west.

Working templates

You can construct a master file that is stored in the cloud and that both you and the provider can access. It will include the details they require, such as CMF information on drawings, user manuals, etc., as well as your expectations and what you like and don't like.

You might receive samples with flaws throughout the development and production of a new product. Photos of these flaws can be uploaded, and you can say that you don't like or accept this.

Having a dynamic record like this ensures that nothing is forgotten, unlike in emails or WeChat messages, and allows for easy reference for up-to-date information. You can ask for comments and written confirmations of your new changes.

If issues persist or there are issues with materials or components that were supposed to be changed, your supplier may not have taken the necessary action, and you need to hold them accountable. Additionally, inspection findings and engineering change requests can be submitted, and the supplier is free to use these as references in subsequent productions.

What are the key things to ask Chinese manufacturer?

Minimum order quantity (MOQ). Your cost per unit will decrease if you order more units of the product. There is a minimum order quantity for each manufacturer. Maintain a balance between not disbursing too much money to get more than you require and not aiming for such a small quantity that you are forced to utilize an alternate plant.

Sample price. Get a sample of your product manufactured so you may evaluate its quality before selecting a Chinese manufacturer. Samples can be purchased for a wide range of costs, from nothing to a substantial discount off the typical cost of production.

Production pricing. Request a breakdown of costs, such as the cost of the product, the cost of shipping, the cost of tariffs, and any other costs that the manufacturer may have not mentioned in the price. This will give you a heads-up about the overall pricing or production.

Production stipulated time. How long will it take for your order to be made? This might make or break the provider you choose because you don't want to wait too long to receive your goods.

Terms of payment. When and how will the maker get paid? As a new customer, you might be required to pay the full amount of your first order upfront. If you are a frequent customer, make sure to inquire about future payment terms.

Getting in touch with Chinese manufacturers may seem a daunting task. However, little effort and research can help you contact Chinese manufacturers or manufacturers, that are reliable and get things done in your favor. 

Benefits of hiring a sourcing firm

Hiring a sourcing firm will help you stop worrying about how you could get in touch with prospective Chinese manufacturers, whether your company is just getting off the ground or is well established.

This is because in exchange for a little price for their services, your sourcing agent will handle the full China sourcing process. It is safe to say that most of you may be discouraged from the thought of importing from China owing to all the obstacles that must be overcome given the amount of time and effort required to contact a Chinese firm.

However, you should understand the distinctions between an agent and a sourcing firm before using either one. A sourcing firm will offer a variety of services, from order placement to China inspection service. Additionally, they are cost-effective and will make your experience sourcing products look much like buying them directly from Amazon.

On the other hand, a sourcing agent is a single person, and while they will do their best, managing the entire process with just one person may be rather taxing. That implies that they are susceptible to communication errors.

A great sourcing partner will handle all your communication needs. They will serve as your wingman, pushing your order along and expressing your needs to the Chinese manufacturer.

Conclusion

The complexities involved in communicating with Chinese manufacturers can appear overwhelming. However, after you receive your order and it meets and exceeds your expectations at a fraction of the cost, it is a really satisfying experience.

We advise finding a sourcing partner to ease your process of how to contact Chinese manufacturers and do the necessary communication process so that you are relieved of some of the stress. You may relax knowing that the manufacturer is aware of your requirements. You may continue to be certain that you will receive value for your money with a qualified team at work.

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