Some Chinese suppliers do understand how a good company brochures and a flashy product catalogs can attract buyers and open new opportunities. Unfortunately some bad suppliers seem to think that creating an eye-catching brochure is enough to be a good company providing quality products. This makes China supplier identification harder.
In the course of our sourcing assistance services to our clients, I have visited many factories that my team had short listed thanks to initial contact and a professional and promising brochures. These brochures displayed nice pictures of the products we were looking for and seemed to show that the factory had good experience and references.
Fortunately, we always visit factories as part of our supplier identification and selection process. Why ? Because, more often then we would like, the reality on site is miles away from what the marketing material suggested. It happened more often they we would hope that the short listed company wouldn’t match many of our selection criteria.
So, beware of attractive brochures. A good brochure means either a good company or a cheating company.
One typical case: the product pictures in the brochure are copied from other manufacturers. When you compare many suppliers, it becomes obvious, like in these real example:
Supplier 1 Catalog – Supplier 2 Catalog
Photo in Catalog 1 – Photo in Catalog 2
It is a pity, but brochures cannot be taken for granted.
On-site visits are the only way to start qualifying any Chinese suppliers. It is a time and money consuming process, but buyers can’t skip it ! However good data, references, website and brochures are, nothing can replace a visit!