Quality Products International

Specification gaps between buyer and factory.

by on Jun.10, 2010, under Asia Business

Further to our recent article “OEM production in China” about the need for clear specification, we came across a similar story from the furniture trade.

The look on his face tells me he’s not happy and by now starting to feel a little like he’s being ripped off.  He paid a deposit, gave instructions and now the supplier is not delivering. “Whats wrong with these people?!?! He is having trouble comprehending why they won’t just “do a good job.” Now I have been in this situation myself many times before. The look on the vendors face tells me a similar story. “We gave an excellent price, we held the product for him (even though we could easily sell it to another buyer) and we did our best to make the changes he requested.

Its almost always a same/similar situation:

Buyer: Vendor
Trying to achieve a certain standard in the product (preferably even a better standard) andwithin their budget which they believe they have communicated clearly to the supplier (and at the same time, assuming that the supplier of course understands what they are talking about). Travels to China a few times a year for buying trips. Believes they are “proficient” and experience China buyers. Worries about “over paying.” Trying to sell a certain type of product, so that it can be paid for and shipped as quickly as possible (and assumes the buyer understands what standard they can produce at). Has never left China and in fact rarely ventures beyond their shop and factory. Has sold to foreigners before with mixed results. Worries about actually getting paid.

At first glance, the issue lies in that there is probably a huge gap in the buyers standard of quality and expectations verses what standard the supplier is actually delivering. You want white – they want black – and with a lot of pulling and tugging hopefully you’ll get gray. But is it really that simple? Does it really all boil down to just communication issues?

Full Article: ACF China

Quality Products International Limited (QPI Ltd – QPI) is very familiar with this situation and can assist buyers in navigating the waters in China.

QPI can assist with any stage of the supply process. Many buyers simply engage QC companies for PSI / FRI (Pre Shipment Inspection / Final Random Inspection) which is a sensible “insurance policy”.

QPI can also assist in factory selection, factory audits (capacity, capability and ethical auditing), as well as the product development / specification phase.

We provide production management services with direct local factory liaison, inward QC, and compliance testing.

While all that can sound expensive, it helps ensure that items are produced on time, within budget and specification.

QPI offers “cut down” services where the buyer simply wants something more than FRI for a lower value order.


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