Are YOU having delivery problems with YOUR Chinese supplier?
Deadlines missed? Delivery dates passing by with no sign of your goods?
Well then, listen up schmucks. This is how it is done…
1. Get yourself a piece of paper and a pen. After you’ve done this a few times you’ll be able to do it in your head, but for now let’s play it safe, ok?
2. Write down the date on which you absolutely must have the goods by. The latest possible date. We are going to count back from here.
3. Take off the number of days it will take for the freight people to transport the goods from the factory to your warehouse. For the sake of this exercise, we will assume four days, but it could be any number. Well, I say it could be any number, but in actual fact it could be any number except for the one you are expecting.
4. Take off two more days to allow for the fact that the freight people forgot to pick up the goods from the manufacturer as arranged.
5. Take off one day to allow for the fact that the freight people didn’t deliver the goods to you until after 8:00 P.M., when your warehouse is closed. You will need to have someone there all night, every night. This means you, because relatives of your local staff will simply use the opportunity to loot the place.
6. Take off two days to allow for the fact that the Chinese manufacturer has been repeatedly told it is of absolute urgency and that all future business rests on their shipping the goods on time.
7. Take off three days to allow for the fact that they had to produce some critical component. But not for you, unfortunately.
8. Take off the production days, however many that is. For the sake of argument, we will assume seven days.
9. Take off three days. Because this is China.
10. We now have twenty-two days lead time. This is how long it will take to actually receive the order which you can reasonably expect in eleven days. This is your secret, to be shared only with your client, but never with the factory. Place your order no later than this date.
11. When placing your order, specify in the first line what it is you want, together with the quantity and price. In the second line, state the last possible date of delivery to your warehouse to be eleven days. No one in China is capable of reading past the first line, so this detail will be lost, however they will acknowledge your order. When, in your correspondence, you repeatedly refer to the ‘delivery date’, they will have no idea to what you are referring, but they will happily agree regardless.
12. On the tenth day, call them up and enquire as to the shipping status of your order. You will be told it is “okay”. Ask detailed questions regarding the shipping documents and tracking numbers, then ask the same questions again. And again. And, possibly, again. Eventually, the person on the other end of the phone will be forced to answer your questions. They will answer with lies, of course, but now at least they have committed themselves.
13. Tell the manufacturer (who has, by now, started production and may actually have even completed it), you are cancelling the order because your clients cannot wait for even two more days. Point out that this was agreed to in all the correspondence. Tell the person you are talking to that this is coming out of their wages. Make the person you are dealing with cry – I mean it, really lay it on. Important point: don’t shout; remain calm and collected.
14. Keep this up until the person stops beginning every sentence with “Because…”. This is the moment when you have the knife to their throat, and they know it. Now allow them the briefest glimmer of hope: ask them when is the soonest date that the goods can be with you, and what are they prepared to do to compensate you and your client for your losses.
15. Remain silent yourself for four seconds (use a watch). Then crush their hopes and tell them that the date they have just specified is – and I quote – “completely unacceptable”. You get another day or so knocked off this way. Now you are down to the original twenty two days you calculated, perhaps even twenty one days if you are really sharp.
16 Compensation should be in the order of an additional twenty percent of the value of the order, free with your next order. You will in fact actually receive five percent of the value of the order free with your next order, but that’s better than a kick in the teeth. Plus then you can use the shortfall to demand further concessions in the future.
Congratulations. If you have followed these simple steps, you will receive your goods on time, or slightly before. Your client will receive a small incentive to give you further orders. And you, well you got to make some mutt cry.
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