Factory merchandizers are often too busy to keep their customers up to date with the status of their production, especially for orders that represent a small portion of their activity.
Smaller factories generally devote more attention to medium-size orders. But they tend to be less organized, and they often forget critical steps (for example: sending some development samples, or ordering certain components).
Managing the supplier starts once the deposit is wired or the letter of credit is opened. Do you really have time to do this? Or do you need someone on the ground to do it for you?