China Manufacturers: Factory Inspections 11/5/2010

Many people and companies choose to source products from Chinese manufacturers that they meet online, and at trade shows.  While sites like Alibaba.com offer quick introductions to thousands of Chinese suppliers, you must make sure that you are aligning yourself with the right Chinese Suppliers that will be able to support your business and meet your customer’s expectations.  Sites like Panjiva.com can be very helpful in conducting preliminary supplier due diligence, but nothing will compare to actually physically visiting and auditing your potential suppliers.  Understanding the inner workings of their operations as well as their strengths and weaknesses will give you the peace of mind you need to move forward with the relationship.

Whether you choose to audit your suppliers or have a 3rd party China auditing company do it on your behalf, the important thing is that its gets done.  Talk to anyone who has been sourcing from China for any length of time and they can tell you a good story about how they have had bad experiences with certain vendors.
To help you get started, I have posted a picture of an example factory audit.  I pulled this one from factoryaudits.com – you can check out their website for more info on how they help companies with China audit requirements.

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