International product sourcing is complicated. And that’s talking strictly about the non-legal side of it. Our international manufacturing lawyers who draft international manufacturing contracts (typically NNN Agreements, Product Development Agreements and Contract Manufacturing Agreements) have seen enough mistakes to write a book.
Well someone sort of just did. Renaud Anjouran, of Quality Inspection Blog, essentially just did. In his post, China Sourcing 101: the 15-Part Guide for New Buyers, Anjouran describes his “15-part series for new buyers who are starting to work with Chinese suppliers (and for more experienced people who want to double-check whether they are working in a smart way)”. This blog series consists of the following 15 articles, all of which apply with near equal force to sourcing from anywhere in the world, be it China or Mexico, Vietnam or Thailand . . . . pretty much wherever:
- Do You Need a Sourcing Agent?
- How to Identify Potential Suppliers?
- How to Verify a Manufacturer
- Second Choices vs. “Never Again”
- Negotiation: The Terms you Need to Discuss
- Keep Some Leverage with Suppliers
- Pre-Production: Describing What You Want
- Project Management of Your Orders
- Check Quality Early in the Manufacturing Cycle
- Always Verify Quality Before Shipment
- Build Good rapport with Suppliers
- How Closely Do You Follow Your Productions?
- The 5 Steps to Developing a Good Supplier
- How a Factory Can Improve Quality
- How a Factory Can Improve Productivity
If you want help in figuring out how to better source your products internationally, I suggest you work your way through this series. And if you want help on the legal side, I suggest you read the links in the first paragraph of this post and then read some or all of the following: