Don't be trapped by a Supplier
You have to know who and what your supplier is before you enter into a contract
with them. Otherwise it is going to cost you plenty.
We had one customer that made and supplied locomotive brakes to locomotive
manufacturers. He signed sign up with a Chinese supplier located in Beijing
through a Canadian manufacturer's rep. We sent in two AMREP technical engineers
to be trained by the Customer's quality engineering director at the supplier's
location. No inspection and training was done because the supplier did not have
the technology and the factory's equipment was not usable. The factory was a
state owned company and it depended on a university lecturer from the
mechanical engineering department of the local university to help them set up
the factory's manufacturing process. Our customer had to talk to his management
about spending money, their own engineers from the US and equipment on the
supplier to get something to work.
Another customer went with us to look at a supplier who had to be FDA approved.
The supplier's factory was located at a fishing village and our inspectors
could not inspect anything because the factory was a reconverted fish storage
warehouse. Our Customer found that the supplier was using the name of another
supplier and was represented by a US manufacturer's representative which had
given a good sales presentation. Our customer had to then invest money in
upgrading the supplier in order to get FDA approval.
You do not have to do much to get your customer to put in more money into your
factory even before you begin production for them.