I was reading another China blog today about an order gone bad. It was the same scenario we see over and over: Overseas company places an order in China; Overseas company does not inspect the order; China vendor delivers bad quality; Overseas company goes ballistic. I read the post and commented on it of course. But it got me to thinking about something. Whenever there is a bad shipment out of China the tendency is to blame the China vendor. But if you don’t inspect your order and it turns out something is wrong, then can you really blame the vendor? If you buy a pair of shoes without trying them on and you get home and the shoes are too big, whose fault is it?
I would add that it is true that a lot of vendors cut corners when you don’t look and that accounts for a significant amount of bad product out of China. Thus the need to inspect. But at the same time many vendors just don’t understand the sophisticated markets they are producing for and without the guidance of the buyer (in the form of incessant communication and detailed specs during pre-production and inspections during the main stages of production) they ship a lot of bad product. Thus, again, the need to inspect. Of course, when you inspect an order in China and see something that you don’t like, the SOP is to have the vendor fix the product in question before you allow them to ship it. You inspect it and OK, they ship it and you get what you ordered. Plain and simple in most cases.
Given China’s global standing as an emerging economy and its somewhat undeserved reputation as a country that churns out a lot of inferior quality product, I personally feel one can not fault a vendor for delivering poor quality product if the product has not been inspected by the buyer or a buyer designated third-party before the order leaves China.