Like many of you, I keep an eye on the China Law Blog. Recently, Dan Harris has been writing more about suppliers, and I wanted to add a few words on top of his excellent posts. In particular I want to note this one on getting sued by your supplier. The advice he gives is great and his advice on what to due legally before you start also priceless.
Do all suppliers in China act like toddlers in any dispute? Actually, no. Some operate in a very professional manner. Also, I would have some of them watch my kids for a weekend.
So yes we need good contracts, but we also do well to choose suppliers based on their ability to accept criticism. We should choose suppliers that are able to show honest vulnerability. These guys are gold and do not sue you or blame others when problems occur. Some of them can even get to continuous improvement at the same time.
They are worth the effort to find.