Qualifying China Suppliers – Tip 2, Communication
Your quote has come back and the price meets your budget, awesome, but does the quote really reflect your needs, did your supplier really understand your projecgt and will they really deliver on your project needs? These are all communication based questions you should be asking yourself before committing to your newly found China supplier.
Communication is one of the top, if not top factor to consider when you are qualifying a China supplier. If you cannot communicate properly with your China supplier there is a good chance that the parts/products delivered back to you will not match your expectations.
1. Does your China contact have a university degree in English or business English or International Trade? Companies that work with western customers should be hiring quality employees with a solid university background in English.
2. Can they speak, write and read English effectively? It is a good idea to test your contact to gauge their true language skills. Doing so will help determine if your contact comprehensively understands your needs.
3. Is your contact well versed in the technological language and specifications you are submitting to them? Do they understand the technological English terms you are using? Also, aside from English skills, do they have the other skills necessary to read and understand the files you are submitting?
4. Does your China contact and China supplier have enough experience communicating with western customers to truly understand your expectations? Or do they mainly serve the domestic China market? Finding a supplier that works predominantly with western customers is a great way to increase the odds that your communication, and ultimately your project outcome will be a success.
5. If you do run into any communication/project problems that your direct China contact cannot solve, does the company offer a secondary option to resolve communication/project problems? For example, does the company employ westerners who are fluent in both Chinese and English?
We live in a 3D CAD world which definitely helps when dealing with someone whose first language is not your own. But let’s face it, drawings are wrong all the time, exact finishing options can be hard to describe, time line expectation may not match….there are 101 reasons why any project can run into problems. The only real solution to ensure project success is to qualify your China contacts communication skills. Communication is the silver bullet to the success of any project.
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