How To Find The Right Chinese Manufacturer with 7 Questions

This photo was shot with a Canon EOS 5D Mark III. ISO 100

Are you curious about how to find a good Chinese manufacturer for your company’s products? You can easily narrow down your choices by screening them ahead of time. Below you can find a list of seven questions you can use when you interview potential manufacturers.

1. Do They Have Any Manufacturing Certifications?

Ask the manufacturer if they have any manufacturing certifications that can improve their production process and quality. For example, do they follow ISO 9001 or ISO 14001 quality standards? Request that they show you proof with the right documentation. If they can’t provide proof, it could be a red flag.

2. Is the Company Financially Stable?

Next, ask a couple of questions about the company’s financial condition. Do they reinvest their earnings into new infrastructure? Do they only manufacture products for one industry or many? Diversification can help the company stay profitable if one industry suffers or slows down. You can also conduct a bank reference check. The more confident you are in the financial stability of your supplier, the better.

3. What Additional Services Do They Offer?

Does the supplier offer a range of extra services in-house? For example, do they offer graphic design or packaging design? Do they outsource any work to other third-party companies or manufacturers? Analyze your company’s needs and try to find a Chinese manufacturer who can meet them.

4. Is The Contract Manufacturer Too Large For My Company?

Large and medium-sized Chinese manufacturers might not be the best supplier for your company if you are a startup and want to place smaller orders. As a smaller company, you will probably be less of a priority than their larger customers. Ask potential manufacturers what the average annual revenue or order size is for the companies they work with to see.

5. Do They Have Rules and Protocols in Place to Protect Your Company’s Intellectual Property?

You will always be taking a risk when you work with foreign manufacturers. One area you should be cautious about is protecting your company’s intellectual property. Do they have certain protocols in place to protect your valuable information? If so, what are they?

6. What Is The Supplier’s ‘MOQ’ Or Minimum Order Quantity?

Next, ask about their minimum order quantity. The more units you order, the less it will cost for them to manufacture the product. Since many Chinese manufacturers want your business, you may be able to negotiate a lower price. You can also inquire about their average turn around time and preferred shipping method.

7. How Much Does it Cost to Make a Product Sample?

After you have narrowed down your list of potential Chinese manufacturers, ask them for a product sample. This will allow you to check the item’s quality and make modifications for future orders. Some suppliers will make the sample for free if they believe your company will place a big order, while others will charge a small price. Always ask for a complete breakdown of the total cost of the item includes shipping, tariffs, and any other factors that will affect the final price. Most importantly, make sure that if you sign a contract with the manufacturer you include stipulations about when you should receive the finished product. After all, you don’t want your entire supply chain to collapse because you had to unexpectedly wait too long to get products.

These questions can help you do the due diligence required to select the right manufacturer for your company. A Chinese manufacturer that is willing to be transparent about their processes and will accommodate your needs can become a long-term partner. If you select a solid supplier, your chance of being successful is substantially greater.