Last week I wrote about bad relationships with Chinese suppliers and Dan, on the China Law Blog, mentioned it in There Must Be Fifty Ways To Leave A Bad China Supplier.
Specifically, Dan asked this question to his readers:
What percent of the time does a Chinese supplier who has provided bad product and not owned up to it provide good product the next time?
My guess was: in about 80% of cases, once it’s unacceptable, it remains unacceptable whatever the importer does.
The remaining 20% are special situations:
- The supplier is a trading company that placed production in a factory that was not up to the task (or that didn’t care of this indirect customer). Then they make efforts and use a better factory for the second order.
- The manufacturer subcontracted production in a cheap workshop, and then took better care of the customer in following orders. I even saw a lingerie supplier re-produce (in house) a batch of strings (that had certainly been subcontracted) FOR FREE, because the photos from the customer showed the problems were really unacceptable. **Warning: it is representative of maybe 0.3% of the cases**
Most interesting are the comments from readers of the China Law Blog.
Here is one:
In my experience (16 years sourcing all sorts of product from China), once things go wrong, they only get worse from there. My advice is not to enter into a new contract with the same supplier who caused you the problems, but to enter into a new contract with someone else.
I’ve had exactly one supplier out of nearly 10 years who went bad, then recovered. The rest just went from bad to worse.
And this one:
Let’s see now. I’ve done deals with 8 Chinese suppliers and all 8 eventually went bad and never went better. So I would say it’s 100%.
Wow. What this suggests is that importers should run away as soon as they see a substandard production batch, and they should always assume that it will no get any better, ever.
So I am an optimist regarding China manufacturing quality? Who would have said that??