Observing Change over 16 years of China Sourcing

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My first visit to China was part of a trade mission trip in 2002, just a year after it entered the World Trade Organization. Back then the place pulsed with potential as the country embraced capitalism as the keystone of its economic reform. As a sourcing agent for manufacturing in China, the intervening years have been a whirlwind as I … Read More

China Sourcing: Setting Goals.

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Having been in the China sourcing business for almost 13 years now, I am often asked what is the most difficult aspect of working in China. My short answer is “Communication”. China manufacturers want to create the product you are asking for. What I have come to appreciate is just how nuanced our thoughts are, and how good communication is taken for … Read More

China Sourcing: Just Showing Up

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There is so much advise on the internet on China Sourcing and how to interact with China: how to dress, how to greet, how to eat, what to say, and what to do. Everything you can imagine on your behavior, especially when having face-to-face meetings with Chinese manufacturers. Should I bring a gift or is that inappropriate? Should I wear a suite … Read More

New Life and China Sourcing

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Usually I am writing detailed blogs about China Sourcing. But not this time. It is time to take a break from China Sourcing and celebrate life. One of the perks of being in China for over 10 years now is having the privilege of participating, in a small way, in the lives of my staff and friends in China. As … Read More

Sourcing my Breakfast in China.

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Instead of talking strictly about sourcing products and services in China, lets talk breakfast. I usually make 4-5 sourcing trips to China each year that can last 2-4 weeks each, depending on the nature of that particular trip. … I penetrate the crowd and let their energy whisk me along toward my breakfast street vendor rendezvous. Hundreds of smiles, strange looks and a mile later, I’m in line. Finally it is my turn as I watch my breakfast being created.

A Ship in Port is Safe vs China Sourcing

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“A ship in port is safe, but that is not what ships are built for. Sail out to sea and do new things.” – Admiral Grace Hopper:

Are you setting sail or looking for safe harbor?
It reminded me about the reason I got into sourcing in China, but more importantly it relates to todays economy and what CEOs are planning to deal with this uncertain future. Many are setting out to sea and chartering courses to places like China, India, Mexico and Brazil.

Feet on the Ground in China

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But as it relates to sourcing products and services in China, our meaning is a bit more literal. We have feet on the ground. We have people in China. We have an established presence. This does not mean “I know a guy” or “we have contacts” in China. So what are the advantages of feet on the ground? Here are just five.