I currently have an ongoing sourcing project for a US apparel company. I have found several good candidates for my client. All of these companies have submitted samples based on my customers specs and we are feeling pretty confident that at least one vendor is going to work out. Over the last year we have probably approached about twenty vendors and have had about ten of those vendors submit counter-samples. And now three vendors have passed muster as far as pricing and being able to produce a top quality sample. I always say the goal is to have a primary vendor and a couple of back ups. And that is what we have now.
Still the other day I received an unsolicited email from an apparel vendor in China who I think may be able to do this product as well. My gut feeling is that even though we already have enough vendors lined up I might as well go ahead and send them a sample to see if they can do something. It certainly cannot hurt ( I mean it costs just $ 5.00 to send a sample to China) and will be a good way to establish a connection with them. And this got me to thinking that although you may have reached your goal goal of having a primary vendor and a couple of back up vendors in place, this does not mean you stop looking for more vendors. It just means that you don’t look as actively.
So if you feel that you are all set as far as your China vendors go and you get an unsolicited email from a new vendor telling you they can do your product, don’t just ignore it or delete it. Send them a sample and get a quote. Because in China sourcing you just never know when you are going to need a new vendor.