China Sourcing and Accountability.

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Nancy Li, Gary Young and the factory manager

Accountability: The Key to China Sourcing

I am asked quite often; "How can you guarantee that my order from China will be perfect?" I usually say that we have procedures and a process to work through quality issues. We have a whole list of things to do including the development of check lists, photos and video confirmation, and third party materials testing -- just to name a few. But I don't talk too much about what we are doing behind the scenes to increase accountability on the China and client sides. It dawns on me that maybe I should be bragging (just a little) about our accountability effort and how it saves time, money and benefits all three parties (our client, the factory in China and us- Avela Corporation).

And just like my last blog (I am not the hammer and you are not the nail) about negotiating by relationship and not through leverage, relationships play a large part in achieving accountability. An investment in relationship is an investment in accountability. When you have a real relationship, both parties do not want to let the other down. And that fosters accountability. But there are more layers to accountability than just having the clarity and good communication from a good relationship. Anther layer is commitment. Nothing sings louder than showing a Chinese factory that you are committed to your business, your product's quality and to their success. No commitment is a template for failure in China.

 

China Sourcing is about the details...

And of course you have heard of the old business axiom, "What gets measured gets done". Chinese factories respect this concept, so the more specific and detailed you are about your product and how it is made, the more accountable they will be. It shows that you care and are serious. In other words, if you provide every detail they need to succeed, you are not one of those "high maintenance" clients. Yes, they have similar stories of high maintenance and tell me that getting good information from a client is like pulling teeth.

Naturally, accountability is a two way street, so they will ask you about your responsiveness to problems and willingness to listen and consider their advise as they parse the issues involved in creating your product. When you show accountability, you get accountability. This leads me to one of my favorite phrases, "No plan survives its collision with reality" by the author of Fierce Conversations- Susan Scott. For me, that means we need to allow time, financial investment and patience to achieve a real success in China.

 

You need an experienced liaison for your China sourcing project

And as the sourcing liaison between our clients and the China factory, we perform these efforts as second nature now. But it was not always this way. It took us time to learn to foster accountability through the language and cultural and even the social political differences that exist. And I am thinking I need to appreciate my team more for how accountable they are and say thank you more often.

China Sourcing Agent : Avela Corporation is an experienced China sourcing agent which will assist your company in manufacturing project in China.

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Gary Young: Founder, President and CEO of the Avela Corporation Gary Young CEO of the Avela Corporation helps companies source produces and services in China with offices in Houston and Shanghai since 2002. Mr. Young’s experience extends from sourcing both commodities and unique OEM opportunities, to intense product development projects. His relationship with China extends into his personal life with his daughter-in-law Eva who is from Shanghai and the newest addition to the family Aiden ,who is presently learning English, Mandarin and Shanghainese. Mr. Young is a Vistage Member since 2001.

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