Ever Play Cat and Mouse?

The relationship between a factory and a buyer can be a contentious one. I even have thought at times that the factory might like it that way. So, I always try to turn the relationship into one of mutual cooperation as much as possible. That seems pretty obvious to those of you that have never done business in Asia. But, for those that have, they’ll know what I mean. To give you a bit of my own psycho-analysis, I believe a lot of this kind of attitude is a lingering effect of communism. Most of the relationships in Asia are still authoritarian in nature. There seems to be a lot of people that believe that you don’t get ahead by hard work and diligence, but in stead you have to do it by being clever and finding ways around the authority. In this relationship the buyer is the authority. So, if they see you as the authority figure, then the automatic response will be how do we get around your rules in order to advance/profit. The result of this is a game of cat vs mouse. In this little game, you’ll tell them what you want, and they will say ok but then try to hide the defect where you or the inspector won’t find it. The way around this is to communicate very clearly what it is you want and work with them to be sure that their capabilities match your requirements.

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