How to Effectively Contact Chinese Food Storage Manufacturers?
Whether it is a multinational company or a luxury brand, almost all of them source their products from China.
There is no doubt that China is considered the factory of the world because it produces consumer goods for the global economy. With the added advantage of low costs, Chinese factories excel at producing a wide range of goods and services, enabling luxury brands and multinationals to charge a premium through patenting or using specialty ingredients. If you know all this, the first question that comes to your mind is how to contact the Chinese factory.
Contacting Chinese factories can seem like a daunting and tedious experience. With all the logistics of figuring out where to start and overcoming the language barrier, let’s face it, it’s really not an easy task as not everyone can speak Mandarin. But the growing prospect of sourcing and using China as a manufacturing base is too tempting to resist.
As different businesses jump on the bandwagon to make money, you want to benefit from this lucrative opportunity too. Not only do you benefit from low production costs, but you can allocate that money to your marketing or sales efforts.
So what does it take to contact a Chinese factory?
Learn Chinese or find someone who speaks Mandarin
This may seem like the most difficult but easiest task if you speak Mandarin Chinese or find someone who can communicate with factories in China on your behalf. Mandarin is considered the official dialect is spoken by nearly 70% of Chinese people, so it’s your safest bet. That means, if you’ve ever had the idea of learning a foreign language and happened to learn Mandarin, you’re lucky to be part of this adventure.
However, up to 30% of the population does not speak Mandarin at all. So if this involves the owner of a Chinese factory you choose to contact as a potential Food Storage Manufacturer of your goods, you could be in trouble.
Due to the unpopularity of Mandarin Chinese, other dialects used in China are not necessarily taught in language institutes. Still, the good news is that the Chinese are learning Mandarin as a second language. Therefore, you will most likely not have problems communicating with other dialects. Other dialects spoken in China include Cantonese (Cantonese), Min, Xiang (Hunan), Gan, Wu, and Hakka.
In Western countries such as the US, Mandarin is a very popular language and is mainly offered as an additional subject in educational institutions. What is the purpose of knowing these? Well, the answer is very simple, it is to let you find a Chinese translator as your spokesperson, communicate with Chinese factories, and try to get in touch with them.
One thing to note is that young Chinese are also being educated in English, which can increase your chances of bypassing Chinese translation, which means you can communicate more easily with Chinese factory owners.
Keep your emails engaging and to the point
If you have shortlisted potential Chinese Food Storage manufacturers or factories and want to find out the best way to communicate with them. We recommend using short emails with appropriate visuals to convey your message.
With the plethora of technological capabilities offered by the Internet (especially Google), you can even convert the content of your emails into Mandarin, making you appear more approachable and flexible in front of Chinese Food Storage Manufacturers.
Also, your emails should be concise and to the point. You shouldn’t write long stories, as they seem to distract from the true essence and purpose of sending emails. Chinese Food Storage manufacturers don’t have that much to sit and read paragraphs over email.
The only time you can write long emails is if you are sending product descriptions about the quality and quantity you want. Another situation that requires a long email is those related to product development for private label or proprietary products.
These types of queries cannot be concise because there is a greater chance of misinterpretation. If you are contacting a Chinese Food Storage Manufacturer to finalize product development, you need to make sure to mention all the details they need so that if any mistakes are made later, the responsibility lies with the factory and not you.
It is also important to use pictures and any other form of visuals if the communication path is entirely virtual. You should provide enough pictures or related videos to Chinese Food Storage manufacturers, especially if you want to make product adjustments or further developments. This way, the Chinese factory understands your requirements and can make your order without any future problems.
Direct access to Chinese factories
There is no better and more reliable form of communication than visiting a Chinese factory. When you visit a Chinese factory, you can not only meet the owner face to face but also see the factory and the manufacturing area. It gives you an idea of how the factory will manufacture your product and what quality standards are adhered to or adhered to.
A factory tour allows you to express concerns about product selection or any particular order. You can immediately get the most suitable answer or suggestion for you from the Food Storage Manufacturer. Therefore, by deciding to visit a factory, you can be sure that the product or your order will meet your expectations. This is especially mandatory if your product requires customization.
Another great reason why visiting a Chinese Food Storage Manufacturer can prove beneficial to you is to avoid being scammed by a supplier pretending to be a Food Storage Manufacturer. It is very common, remember you want a Food Storage Manufacturer, not a reseller or trader.
Dealing with suppliers can leave you completely ignorant of product quality and real prices. You may pay more than it actually costs because the seller/trader outsources your order from a third-party factory that you don’t know about. Therefore, a visit is the best way to communicate with a real Chinese Food Storage Manufacturer who owns a factory to get a clear idea of who you are dealing with.
When you talk to the Food Storage Manufacturer, you can hold them accountable for your product and even help you fix it if something goes wrong.
Search online directories, B2B marketplaces and trade fairs
If the first three methods seem too tedious in terms of execution and cost, another way to contact Food Storage Manufacturers is to look them up in online catalogs or online B2B marketplaces.
This makes it easier to contact Chinese factories for product sourcing. However, this is not the best approach if you wish to customize your product. The reason is that places like online catalogs can have outdated details, which can lead you to a dead end because then you don’t have any potential leads to contact the Chinese Food Storage Manufacturer.
A similar problem with B2B marketplaces like Alibaba is that it’s mostly made up of sellers or resellers; the chances of you finding genuine Chinese Food Storage Manufacturers who aren’t really suppliers or resellers or even wholesalers are slim. In China, these terms in the supply chain do not matter. But from your business perspective, it could be the difference between the price type and quality of the product you receive.
Hence, Alibaba is one of the top 5 players in the online directory of manufacturers and suppliers. B2b online marketplaces emerged after the SARS health crisis in 2003 when few dared to import or source products from China.
However, the website also caters to end consumers, some of whom may be your potential target audience. Moreover, it is also difficult to connect with manufacturers through a platform like Alibaba. Often, websites and apps are designed in such a way that you can only talk to the Food Storage Manufacturer about a potential product or after placing an order.
For someone who just wants to place a large order, this problem doesn’t seem to be a big deal. Ease of communication seems to be an advantage for them. However, we do not recommend this forum for businesses that rely on or want to customize or discuss product development ideas.
Trade shows are another great place to explore, especially if you’re trying to contact Chinese factory owners working in electronics, aircraft, automobiles, medical equipment, and even metal products. Manufacturers in these industries tend to showcase their products and hope to secure export orders from customers.
So this is one of the golden opportunities to get exposure to Chinese factories. Previously, this process used to actually happen in China and still does to some extent. But due to Covid-19, such trade shows have moved online, which means it’s easier to view product portfolios from the comfort of your own home.
Hire a purchasing company to communicate for you
Whether you are a start-up or an established enterprise, hiring a sourcing company can save you from having to worry about how to contact potential Chinese factories or Food Storage Manufacturers.
This is because your sourcing partner will handle the entire product sourcing process for a small fee for the service. Given the type of work and effort that goes into contacting Chinese factories, it’s safe to say that most of you would probably reject the idea of importing from China because of all the obstacles that exist.
But before you hire a sourcing company or agency, you should understand the difference between them. The purchasing company will provide a range of services from manufacturing control to order monitoring. They also work well within your budget and they will make your product sourcing experience seem like ordering products directly from Amazon. Isn’t it going well now?
A purchasing agent, on the other hand, is a human being, and while they will do their best, having one person handle the entire process can be overwhelming. This means they can make mistakes in communication.
In some cases, hiring a sourcing agent means setting yourself up in a fraudulent network, as these people are often just looking to make easy money from foreigners. What gives them an advantage over you is the knowledge of Chinese and the language, which they know you don’t have, therefore, they can easily extort money from you without providing any result.
An excellent purchasing partner will complete the entire communication process for you. They will act as your wingman to push your order and communicate your requirements with the Chinese factory.
Current Challenges of Connecting with Chinese Factories and Manufacturers
As the impact of Covid-19 continues, Covid-19 continues to impact various industries around the world. This situation also applies to Chinese factories. In China, the two biggest hurdles have been the language barrier and the prevailing business culture, which includes the manufacturing practices employed by Chinese factories. If you live on the other side of the world, traveling to China to source products can seem too tedious, especially when you have factory audits to do.
This brings us to the next question, which is usually when you try to contact a Chinese factory for a factory audit to see if they meet the quality checks required in your target country of sale. One of the problems you face is that the manager or owner will refuse to process your order if it needs to meet separate quality assurance standards.
This also applies if you want to bring your own QA team to try and audit the factory. To Chinese factory owners, this may look like a foreign invasion of their business, and they may not take it too kindly. This is why respecting cultural differences is so important to ensure an unimpeded experience with your business.
Having said that, choosing a sourcing partner also requires you to understand how they will contact factories in China. Selecting the right sourcing partner takes a lot of research and effort. This can be based on the location of the Chinese factory, the years of experience the company or agent has in handling orders, and the validity of their trade licenses.
Engagement with Chinese factories seems pretty implausible due to the complexities involved. However, once you receive your order and it meets and exceeds all your expectations at a fraction of the cost, it can be a very rewarding experience.
We recommend finding a sourcing partner to help you communicate, as this will take some of the burdens off your shoulders. You can rest assured that your request has been communicated to the factory. With a professional team at work, you can still be sure you’re getting your money’s worth.
At Maple Sourcing, we see you as the end consumer, and we believe your product-sourcing experience should be as smooth as shopping online. To this end, we will handle all communication with Chinese Food Storage Manufacturers for the products or orders you want to produce. We will maintain two-way communication so that there is no room for misunderstanding between you and the factory that manufactured your order.