Finding the Wrong Supplier

Have you ever worked with a supplier that just didn’t seem to have your best interests at heart? Maybe there was poor communication between you and the factory. Or, maybe your supplier hit you with one excuse after another to explain poor product quality or a delayed shipment. If you’ve had experience with either situation, you probably wish you’d known how to avoid it.

No supplier relationship is perfect, and there will always be hiccups along the way. However, you may want to think twice if you repeatedly encounter one or more “red” flags. Look out for the following telltale signs of a bad supplier:

Telltale Sign #1: The story is always changing

First it was a delay due to an issue at a raw material supplier. Now it’s a government-mandated brownout to conserve electricity. The next thing you know, production grinds to a halt because one worker hurt himself using a saw. All of these examples are, in fact, real. But you’re not wrong in being skeptical if they occur repeatedly and affect your shipping schedule.

Telltale Sign #2: Your supplier is never wrong

You might hear that the increasingly poor quality you have noticed over the last 5 shipments is just your imagination and the result of your quality inspectors being too strict. You may be told to ignore the fact that you have documented an increase in returns from your top customers. You may hear the excuse that there must be an error with your data because the supplier’s quality remains stable. All of these are the supplier’s attempt to sidestep responsibility and put the blame else. Hold your supplier accountable for quality fade or other issues. Avoid working with a factory that won’t take responsibility.

Telltale Sign#3: Your supplier knowingly arranges inspection based on false information

A common example of false information occurs when you or a third-party schedule inspection for a certain date, only to arrive at the factory and find the product isn’t ready for inspection. The supplier booked the inspection knowing the factory would not be ready. This is generally done in an attempt to avoid the inspection process and is a HUGE red flag that indicates you need to inspect the order before shipping. If this happens repeatedly, then you run serious risk as an importer.

Telltale Sign #4: You’re told the inspection company did a bad job. However, your supplier can’t provide any specific details explaining what that really means.

It is common practice for suppliers to call inspectors incompetent or question their integrity. In most cases, you’ll find this coincides with an inspection report outlining a long list of quality issues. The only thing that might be more frustrating than a failed inspection report is to hear that the inspector didn’t know what he was doing or that he asked for money in exchange for going easy on the factory. If the factory is light on details, then your supplier is probably just trying to draw your attention away from the real issues. Insist that the factory make future complaints by phone while the inspector is still on-site. This is the only way to really investigate the issue.

Conclusion

If these examples remind you of a current supplier, then start to protect yourself by visiting the factory regularly in person. This allows you to see things for yourself and assess the situation. Your supplier will be less likely to lie to you in person if you make regular visits. And don’t forget there are plenty of reputable suppliers out there with which you could be working. There are also companies that can help you identify them if you can’t do this yourself.

About the author

David writes about economic activity throughout Southeast Asia and specializes on international trade relating to China. In addition, he holds a Masters Degree in Economics from Peking University.
We are using cookies to give you the best experience. You can find out more about which cookies we are using or switch them off in privacy settings.
AcceptPrivacy Settings

GDPR

  • We use cookies

We use cookies

What Are Cookies

As is common practice with almost all professional websites this site uses cookies, which are tiny files that are downloaded to your computer, to improve your experience. This page describes what information they gather, how we use it and why we sometimes need to store these cookies. We will also share how you can prevent these cookies from being stored however this may downgrade or ‘break’ certain elements of the sites functionality.

For more general information on cookies see the Wikipedia article on HTTP Cookies.

How We Use Cookies

We use cookies for a variety of reasons detailed below. Unfortunately in most cases there are no industry standard options for disabling cookies without completely disabling the functionality and features they add to this site. It is recommended that you leave on all cookies if you are not sure whether you need them or not in case they are used to provide a service that you use.

Disabling Cookies

You can prevent the setting of cookies by adjusting the settings on your browser (see your browser Help for how to do this). Be aware that disabling cookies will affect the functionality of this and many other websites that you visit. Disabling cookies will usually result in also disabling certain functionality and features of the this site. Therefore it is recommended that you do not disable cookies.

The Cookies We Set

If you create an account with us then we will use cookies for the management of the signup process and general administration. These cookies will usually be deleted when you log out however in some cases they may remain afterwards to remember your site preferences when logged out.

We use cookies when you are logged in so that we can remember this fact. This prevents you from having to log in every single time you visit a new page. These cookies are typically removed or cleared when you log out to ensure that you can only access restricted features and areas when logged in.

This site offers newsletter or email subscription services and cookies may be used to remember if you are already registered and whether to show certain notifications which might only be valid to subscribed/unsubscribed users.

This site offers e-commerce or payment facilities and some cookies are essential to ensure that your order is remembered between pages so that we can process it properly.

From time to time we offer user surveys and questionnaires to provide you with interesting insights, helpful tools, or to understand our user base more accurately. These surveys may use cookies to remember who has already taken part in a survey or to provide you with accurate results after you change pages.

When you submit data to through a form such as those found on contact pages or comment forms cookies may be set to remember your user details for future correspondence.

Third Party Cookies

In some special cases we also use cookies provided by trusted third parties. The following section details which third party cookies you might encounter through this site.

This site uses Google Analytics which is one of the most widespread and trusted analytics solution on the web for helping us to understand how you use the site and ways that we can improve your experience. These cookies may track things such as how long you spend on the site and the pages that you visit so we can continue to produce engaging content.

For more information on Google Analytics cookies, see the official Google Analytics page.

Third party analytics are used to track and measure usage of this site so that we can continue to produce engaging content. These cookies may track things such as how long you spend on the site or pages you visit which helps us to understand how we can improve the site for you.

From time to time we test new features and make subtle changes to the way that the site is delivered. When we are still testing new features these cookies may be used to ensure that you receive a consistent experience whilst on the site whilst ensuring we understand which optimisations our users appreciate the most.

As we sell products it’s important for us to understand statistics about how many of the visitors to our site actually make a purchase and as such this is the kind of data that these cookies will track. This is important to you as it means that we can accurately make business predictions that allow us to monitor our advertising and product costs to ensure the best possible price.

The Google AdSense service we use to serve advertising uses a DoubleClick cookie to serve more relevant ads across the web and limit the number of times that a given ad is shown to you.

For more information on Google AdSense see the official Google AdSense privacy FAQ.

More Information

Hopefully that has clarified things for you and as was previously mentioned if there is something that you aren’t sure whether you need or not it’s usually safer to leave cookies enabled in case it does interact with one of the features you use on our site.

However if you are still looking for more information then you can contact us through one of our preferred contact methods. This Cookies Policy was created with the help of the CookiePolicyGenerator.com

Email: info@intrepidsourcing.com