Chinese Manufacturers – How to Select the Best Ones
Chinese manufacturers are to be found in vast numbers. However, finding the right one for you can be tricky and does takes some work. This read will guide you to success
March 29, 2023
When it comes to manufacturing hubs, there can be no doubt about it - China is the biggest. In fact, the country's abundance of manufacturers catering to different industries has led it to being dubbed as the "factory of the world". However, things can get a little tricky for businesses that want to select a high-quality manufacturer/supplier based in China.
If you're a business owner who wants to be supplied by the best Chinese manufacturers, you're at the right place. In this post, we'll take you through every intricate detail that will help you to pick a high-quality Chinese manufacturer that will never let you down. So let’s get you moving in the right direction with steps to find your perfect Chinese manufacturer .
Things to consider before you start looking for a Chinese manufacturer
Before you start searching for a manufacturer based in China, you should consider the following things:
One manufacturer or multiple manufacturers: If your business specializes in only a single product type, a single manufacturer may be enough to cater to your requirements. But what if your business sells multiple products? In such a scenario, it's not necessary that you have to select a manufacturer that can supply all the required products. Feel free to reach out to multiple manufacturers for sourcing the materials.
Don't just prioritize the products' prices: You may think that securing a deal with a manufacturer who offers the cheapest prices is a success, but that's not how it always works. Sure, in the short-term, such a manufacturer may seem like the most obvious choice. However, when it comes to choosing manufacturer, you should look for a balance between product quality, fair pricing, and professionalism. Ultimately, what you're looking for is a long-term partner that you can count on for years to come.
Look beyond Alibaba or Google: Platforms such as Alibaba and Google allow businesses to search for manufacturers. Of course, there's no reason why you can't find a decent manufacturer through these platforms. However, solely relying on them would be a mistake. The reason for this is simple - the manufacturers that you will be shown on these platforms have most likely paid these platforms to display their advertisements. So, just because you find certain manufacturers' names at the top of Google or Alibaba doesn't mean that they're the best match for your requirements.
Adherence to standards: Every country has its own set of laws regarding the standards that products should adhere to. Simply put, you don't want to get into any legal hassle simply because you are sourcing products from a manufacturer that didn’t comply with the standards of your country. Remember, compliance laws are different in China. So, you should choose Chinese manufacturers that make products which are compliant with the rules and regulations in your country. If your business caters to audiences in multiple countries, you need to be even more careful.
For securing the best deals, go to China: Digital forms of communication have evolved and you don't need to visit China in-person to select one or more manufacturers. However, digital forms of communication have their drawbacks. For example, a manufacturer may not provide you with all the relevant information, which may prove to be costly if you end up securing a deal based on the incomplete information. This is why we recommend paying a visit to China in person to meet the representatives of manufacturing companies. This allows you to assess how they manufacture the products and whether or not the products are compliant with the laws of your country.
How to start your search for manufacturers
Now that you know the 5 most important things to consider before starting your search for manufacturers in China, it's time to actually conduct the search. Let's go through this section in a step-by-step manner:
Check your product specs: Product specs such as the colors, dimensions, style of packaging, regulations, and testing specifications should be thoroughly checked before starting the search for manufacturers in China. While this isn't absolutely compulsory, we recommend performing this step as it would make it easier for you to determine the best manufacturers based on the specs of your product(s). Not doing it would involve a much longer search, and in the worst case scenario, you may end up striking a deal with a manufacturer that's not actually right for what you need.
Find the manufacturers on your own: Once you know exactly what you need based on your product specs, it's time to find the manufacturers. There are several ways you can go about doing this step. If you don't want to employ the services of an agent, we recommend checking product sourcing platforms such as Alibaba, Made in China, or AliExpress. Made in China would be the best place to start your search as the platform has unparalleled information as far as Chinese manufacturers and their products are concerned.
Find the manufacturers with help: If you're unwilling to conduct the search on your own, you should reach out to a sourcing agent. Sourcing agents have the expertise that allow them to match the right suppliers to various businesses based on their needs. However, this would require you to spend more money as you would have to pay the sourcing agents separately for their services. If your budget permits, you can also participate in trade shows held in China, where you would get to meet representatives of various manufacturing companies and see their products first-hand.
Get in touch with manufacturers for quotes: Once you've made a list of the potential manufacturers that you want to source your products from, it's time to get in touch with them for quotes. You should ideally send them emails for this purpose. The emails should contain all relevant information such as your product specs and the quantity of products you require on a weekly/monthly/yearly basis. You should also make sure that the emails you send to manufacturers are written in a way that's easy to understand. The reason for this is simple - the average Chinese individual isn't very well-versed in English and in such a scenario, a complex style of writing may confuse the manufacturers.
Picking three of the best manufacturers based on verification: After the Chinese manufacturers get back to you with their quotes, you should make every effort possible to verify the manufacturers. This verification process is crucial, as going forward without it may lead to inadequate product quality and other issues that may adversely impact your business. When verifying potential Chinese manufacturers you want to work with, you should focus on product quality and legal compliance. Also make sure that the manufacturers are able to supply required product volumes without hiccups. You should also be able to communicate with the manufacturers as often as you'd need to.
Visit the shortlisted manufacturers' production site: Once the verification process is over and you've picked three of the most suitable manufacturers for your needs, it's time to pay them a visit. While you can conduct the discussions online as well, we recommend visiting them. This will give you the opportunity to assess important things like the quality of the raw materials they use, their attitude towards their work, and the quality of their employees and the machinery.
Ask for samples: Don't ever finalize a deal with a manufacturer without assessing a product sample. That's why we recommend asking for samples from the manufacturers you shortlisted. Once you have the samples from all three manufacturers, compare them and choose the manufacturer whose samples impress you the most.
China has the highest number of manufacturers and suppliers - we touched on that in the very beginning of this post. However, apart from the vast number of options to choose from, there are several other benefits of sourcing your products from Chinese manufacturers. Let's take a look at them in this section:
Low labor and manufacturing costs: Labor and manufacturing costs are among the lowest in the world when it comes to manufacturers in China. The best thing about the most reputed manufacturing companies in China is that while the costs associated with working with them are low, there are no compromises in terms of quality. So, if you're looking for quality products without shelling out a fortune, there's only one country you should turn to for sourcing the products - China.
Infrastructure for bulk production and supply: The best manufacturing companies in China all have the required infrastructure for producing their products in bulk and supplying them in bulk as well. So if you require huge volumes to be supplied, know that Chinese manufacturers are equipped to meet your requirements consistently in the long-run.
Quality of Chinese products is recognized worldwide: There was once a time when the world wasn't very receptive towards Chinese products, as their quality wasn't up to par. However, times have changed, and the world's perceptions about Chinese products have as well. That's why if you're looking to grow, expand, and diversify your business- it is hard to dispute the benefits of sourcing products from China.
So, now you know all you need regarding sourcing your products from China. Remember, choosing the right manufacturer isn't easy, so you should be willing to put in some time and effort into the process. If you follow all the steps that we have mentioned in this post, we don't have any doubts that you will find the right manufacturers in China who can provide you the products you need at a fair price. So, we hope that you give your business the Chinese edge and reap your rewards in both the short and the long run.
Sourcing Allies is a team of expert China sourcing agents that has helped western customers manufacture and source products from low-cost regions since 2006.