[Floor Talk 4] First Choice Vs Backups

Posted on 8 June, 2014

Author: Peter Lou, VP Operations, UT Metal

First Choice Vs Backups


With a bit luck, you should have verified a few manufacturers by now.

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Some are your first choice. And hopefully you will have a couple of "backups".

That's what we called, 

Plan A and Plan B. 

When you select what you feel good, you will see results faster than ever before.

There is also unfortunate situation where your "first choice" disappoints you.

How Many Suppliers Do You Need?

At this stage, the question now is:

How many suppliers do you need? 

"Just enough,"   ....  Hopefully at least two suppliers, maybe three. 

A lot of times you build your business around one supplier - in case something happens, you could be out of business.

If we are serious about what's the future will be, then we always need backups.

Where You Are Disappointed

I assume you have found some promising suppliers.

Which is very good.

Still, if you want to reduce your risks or eliminate the nightmares, I would suggest you to keep communication open with a few more suppliers.

Bear in mind, some of your "first choice" could disappoint you.

And, this happens everyday.

Same as what we do, here at UT Metal,

All key materials must be supplied by 2 to 3 sources.

It's a must.

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Because the possibility that your "first choice" lets you down is around 50%, I would guess.

It can be many reasons:

  • Maybe they do not care about your ideas or big plans.
  • Maybe they do not agree with your lead times.
  • Maybe they are too busy and do not value your business much.
  • Maybe they fire their sales guys and you do not have other good cotact there.
  • Maybe they are not that flexible in supporting your production changes.
  • Maybe they just can not meet your quality level, or won't make the efforts to reach at all.

It could be many on this list that you do not even understand.

Some could be interesting .... more than what you can imagine.

"Never Again" Suppliers

We are talking about the unfortunate cases when some suppliers prove to be untrustworthy. 

The worst situation, is that the poor quality products are shipped and you only notice upon delivery in your warehouse.

It could be more serious when the bad products are only noticed until it sit in your customer's warehouse - at that point, there is basically nothing you can do. 

The only thing we need to consider is how to avoid taking the same risks again.

Before you burn the bridge, please dig out the reasons why this happens.

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Is it because this supplier does not have a well-established system, or is it just temporary in the quality lapse?

Ask them to explain. 

And build these into your China experience.

If you already have a back-up - In this case, you can quickly switch to them and get ready to "hit the ground running".

If you do not have a backup, it could take you up to 6 months to catch up.

Well ........... is it toooooooo serious ?

Yes ............. it's soooooooo serious !

UT Metal has been in operations since 1988, we are one of the leading China Volume Metal Punching Supplier,Quality Metal Manufacturing,Chinese volume manufacturers for the metal iron furniture and store display fixture items.  Over 20 years we have been serving hundreds of happy customers and we wish to be part of your projects coming soon.

Let's share more in the next article.

Contact any of your sales staff at UT Metal and we will be happy to share more with you .....

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US Office -

Key Contact: Ms. Terry M. Douglas

Sales Representative (Customer Service / Follow-up / Coordination)

Email: TerrydouglasUT@gmail.com

Add: 311 Augusta Ave.,Bowling Green, KY 42103, USA

Tel: 001 270 799 9194

China Factory -

www.ut-metal.com retail store fixture 

Key Contact: Mr. Peter Lou

VP, Group Operations

Email: PeterL@ut-metal.com

Tel : +86 752 7830132

Mob: +86 1331 6864 500

See Something Inside

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"Just to let you know that I have received the glass shelf support standoffs from your company! 

As a buyer I was very impressed with both the quality and the service received .... The slot is neat, the brushed finish looks very good. Once again a big thank you and I am hoping that my friends and clients will also love the product enough to place orders! "


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We will share more in the coming articles.

Want to go back to previous articles ?

Go see -

Floor Talk One ........ Your China Sourcing Strategy


Floor Talk Two ........ Right Customer Vs Right Supplier


Floor Talk Three ........ How to FEEL A Good China Supplier



UT Metal Co., Ltd

phone + 86 752 7830752 | fax + 86 752 7830713 | Mob. + 86 1331 6864 500