Manufacturing in Asia? 10 Essential Characteristics for Good Suppliers

Importance of Choosing Good Suppliers

Savvy entrepreneurs understand the importance of choosing reliable and good suppliers. Getting the best suppliers for your business is key to achieving a strong supply chain and eventually, good profit margins. The choice of your suppliers determines the success of your business significantly.

An exceptional supplier will enable you to meet your customer needs without compromising quality consistently. On the other hand, choosing the wrong supplier can lead to delays, substandard goods, and high product returns.

Whether you are looking for one or more suppliers, you need to have a list of fundamental qualities to consider for choosing the types of suppliers that you need. This doesn’t just make your work easier; it ensures you get a supplier that is perfect for the job. (More about Factory Audit)

So, what should you look for in a supplier for the benefit of your business? how to find a good supplier? Here are the top 10 qualities to consider:

1. Accountability

It is easy to work with a supplier who is accountable for his/her mistakes as it makes the supply process faster. Sometimes you may encounter quality problems, and the last thing you’ll expect is the supplier to deny responsibility.

You should avoid suppliers who shift blames, maybe to the product inspector. A good supplier should take responsibility and promise to make adjustments to ensure that production mistakes or any issues affecting the quality of the products don’t happen again.

2. Reliability

Any importer understands the importance of choosing good suppliers. A reliable supplier is one who can meet your supply needs on time. You must make sure the supplier has the right workforce and equipment to meet your requirements.

A sure way to find out if the supplier can deliver what they promise is to visit their premises. If you can’t reach the factory personally, then you can outsource the task to a 3rd party agency. Alternatively, ask for samples and conduct a thorough review before allowing them to proceed with production.

3. Expertise

The level of experience of your supplier matters a lot to your business. You should choose a supplier who is an expert in the manufacture of your products. A supplier who has preexisting clients in your target market is a plus since they are familiar with the regulations in that area.

Make sure to ask critical questions that tell more about the suppliers’ expertise in handling your goods such as:

  • Do they have the right certifications?
  • Where do they source their raw materials?
  • How familiar are they with the rules and regulations?
  • Have they dealt with similar products before?

Reviews from other buyers online can also give you insights into the quality of their service.

4. Flexible

Good suppliers deal with different buyers who have different needs. When assessing their flexibility, you will be checking how suitable they are to adapting to changes. Can they meet your current standards?

It’s not uncommon to find suppliers who deal with large orders only. Even if they accept small importers, some suppliers tend to give priority to orders from big importers. A good supplier is one who accepts your order and prioritizes it.

5. Ethical

Something common among the best suppliers is that they have good moral standards. A good supplier is one who conducts operations with strict adherence to social compliance standards. You don’t want to work with suppliers with a poor brand reputation who disregards good ethics.

6. Effective Communicator

Good communication is important in ensuring a good relationship with the supplier. Whereas working with a supplier who’s an effective communicator is easy, working with a weak communicator can be challenging.

Before working with suppliers, make sure that they understand your specifications well. However, good communication is not limited to speaking a particular language fluently. A good supplier should be able to inform you on time if something comes up that prevents him from meeting your order.

7. Cooperative

To achieve your business goals, it takes more than a partnership with your supplier. Nowadays, product inspection is vital. Therefore, you’ll need a supplier that can cooperate with a third-party inspection company for smooth supply.

A good supplier is one who helps the third-party inspector by providing him with everything necessary to conduct the pre-shipment inspection. If the inspectors discover quality issues, they are ready to provide solutions. Such suppliers also disclose essential information required during audits.

8. Compliant

Ethical compliance alone is not enough. The manufacturer should be able to comply with the laws in the country where manufacturing happens and where the products are destined. Working with a supplier who is not compliant with government regulations can lead to legal challenges.

A good supplier should operate legally with all the licenses and proper accreditation required. Depending on the products you are dealing with, the regulations vary. Even so, make sure that the supplier meets the product-specific regulations. You can organize for independent testing through a 3rd party agency to confirm compliance.

9. Good Record Keeper

Throughout your partnership with the suppliers, lots of changes with regard to quality standards or regulations will happen. You may also need to make adjustments based on your customer needs. good suppliers will continuously update their records to match the current requirements.

10. Improve Continuously

If you are planning on working with the supplier long-term, then finding one that improves continuously is key. A great supplier should be quality-conscious and have in place a quality control system that meets the required standards.

You need to take into account the supplier’s efforts towards cutting down waste and enhancing efficiency in their production. Do they take adequate measures to prevent mistakes from occurring in the future?


Getting the best suppliers can be quite challenging, especially if you’re a beginner. In fact, it is one of the toughest parts of the importation business. The importance of getting good suppliers who are professionals can not be underestimated.

It takes more than just a few samples from the supplier to verify their capacity to deliver their promises. Make use of these 10 essential qualities, and you’ll most certainly end up with a reliable supplier with who you can efficiently work.

Author: AQI Service as a professional quality control service company in China specialized to provide a complete range of quality inspection and testing certification services in China & Asia for global importers, buyers, retailers, and sellers.

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