The Partner Identification part of the process will lead to making financial commitments, and is therefore crucial to get right – it is also the most challenging decision for foreign buyers to navigate – price is only one factor of many, and is a poor determining factor in this decision making.

Our initial research will provide a wide range of options, and this next stage is filter these down to the most promising candidates. We will share full information on who they are and why we believe they are suitable. We will assess their equipment, check their quality certificates and generally justify why we think a particular company is worth a visit. There is no need to reinvent the wheel – there will be options, the skill is in determining the right one. Under normal circumstances we would ask our customers to visit the factories – for which we can provide full logistical support – however, with travel extremely difficult, we will work to provide you with a full understanding of the short list, and support our customers to make the right decision.

We are here to work with all parties to ensure that everyone is clear about what is required. Product development is rarely as straight forward as expected, and constructive two way communication is vital. We will focus on ‘how’ the manufacturer can deliver the quality that you need, and challenge them to prove they have supplied to an equivalent standard previously.

We will provide a full and frank ‘Chinese opinion’ on the options, something that is not always easy to get in China, and if at any point we believe there are issues you need to be aware of – we will tell you.

A crucial part of this process is forming a relationship with the factory (Guanxi), as this can make the difference between successful and a strained relationship. Our job is to form and maintain that bond over the long term to ensure that you receive the cooperation that you require.

Once all parties are happy, we will look to formalise details.