Overseas suppliers can be an enigma, hard to read, moody, demanding and tough to communicate with.  Importantly, they often hold a little more power in the business relationship than you might realise.

It is not a one sided “I am the buyer, do as I demand” scenario. In China for instance, suppliers are not always used to bending over backwards for your work.

Because China WAS so cheap, they were used to buyers asking to work with them. Now that China is not so cheap, they have to work harder for your sale.

But the communication problems remain, then there is ‘creative misinterpretation’….when your order is interpreted to suit the needs of the suppler. For instance we have sent custom clothing patterns to a supplier, only for the sample to arrive using an existing pattern that the supplier felt “was a better fit for your customers”. Lets just say our client let them know that she was in a better position to decide the tastes of her customers than the overseas manufacturer was.

What if importing from China is not the best option? Did you think of India, Thailand or Vietnam? Or other countries?


Bonus Lesson

How to how to better communicate with overseas suppliers (a module from our online learning program)

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