This is an interesting question because when buyers make international purchases, they want to find a supplier that will satisfy them and their company in terms of price, quality, and service. Is there such a supplier? Of course, there is an answer. But it is not easy to find such a provider.
Now consider the following question. It is very difficult to find a perfect match for our life partner, The process can be divided into getting to know each other (either by ourselves or through a friend, or if a friend introduces us, then the process goes much more smoothly) - getting to know each other - getting to know each other better - establishing a relationship - getting along - conflict - reconciliation - conflict again - reconciliation again - relationship escalation - marriage. And each of these processes can lead to an early end of the relationship if something goes wrong. And we usually look for a partner within our own circle of life, not across the state or country lines, because the distance is the biggest relationship killer.
Therefore, it is very difficult for us to find a perfect match with a supplier, no less difficult than it is for us to find a perfect life partner because most of the time buyers are looking for suppliers across the country.
Imagining your fears when you transfer millions of dollars or even tens of millions of dollars to the account of a supplier you have never met, or even met only a few times, on the other side of the world.
So with new suppliers, from the time of contact until the first official order is placed, there are often several processes.
① Emailing of suppliers (mutual acquaintance phase)
②Buyer replies to emails or blackmails (contact establishment phase, or rejection of contact)
③ Buyers send inquiries to suppliers (this process usually lasts a long time, maybe 1 year, maybe 5 years.
④Cooperation order stage (after a long time of quotation service, some buyers choose to place a test order to actually test the new supplier, this is also the selection of alternative suppliers).
⑤ When the supplier has gone through the alternative phase, then it will enter into the real cooperation phase with the buyer (I generally call this phase the honeymoon phase of business cooperation).
⑥If there is a problem with the order, we will proceed to the after-sales stage (Conflict stage, generally at this stage, it means that the cooperation has been going on for some time, but gradually all kinds of problems appear, such as unstable quality, unstable delivery time, price increase, etc., at this time both parties will make a new evaluation on each other to see if it is necessary to continue the cooperation. (frequency, order requirements, payment terms, profitability, whether annual purchases are increasing; buyers are judged based on product quality, delivery, price, service attitude).
⑦ Both sides have resolved the conflict and the cooperation has deepened or continues.
These are some basic procedures for international buyers and sellers, based on my work experience. According to the above procedure, there are not many suppliers who can work together continuously and maintain a good service attitude, because the suppliers who make it to the last step are few and far between, and most of them are eliminated or quit on their own.
Many suppliers like big/heave orders because they think they can make a lot of money, so they tend to ignore the "small orders" but without the accumulation of small orders, how can there be big orders? So you need to beware of these kinds of suppliers.
Now let's get back to the point, what is a good vendor? What characteristics should a good supplier have? First of all, the supplier's attitude must be good (you can feel this from talking to him). Secondly, it depends on whether the supplier remembers what he said. If a supplier often forgets what he said, do you think he is reliable?. Last but not least, a smart supplier should do what he can to prolong the honeymoon period and not rush into the conflict period, because a win-win situation can only be achieved when both parties are happy.
The other thing is that suppliers and buyers must grow together to work well together, otherwise, if the growth of one lags behind the other, it will also affect the cooperation.
Thanks for reading!