Developing suppliers in your own hemisphere is not exactly easy. But when they're an ocean away, it can get even more challenging. However, the rewards can certainly pay off -- in some regions more than others. In my time in China, specifically, I've observed a willingness among suppliers to listen and learn that goes far beyond what is typical in the West. Not surprisingly, that's why I found this article in Industry Week so fascinating. In it, Christopher Runckel, a consultant who focuses on the Asian market, comments that "Companies willing to work with suppliers and to invest the time in ensuring a meeting of minds and an understanding of key concerns will find many [Asian] plants solid and quite willing to learn and improve both their quality and their quality management systems to meet foreign company needs." If you're involved in supplier development or global sourcing initiatives, I'd strongly recommend checking out the piece.