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
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
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
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
China Sourcing: My personal experience. Go-Dome™ The Worlds Finest Portable Planetarium To sum up part one briefly, China has a conundrum when it comes to intellectual property. On the one hand, they are the world masters at copying or knocking off. There is a cultural argument, or some might call it an excuse, that it in the tradition of Confucianism, … Read More
China Sourcing seems precarious. China has a reputation for knocking off or copying products.Â This reputation is well deserved. If you look at it from a neutral point of view, it is kind of amazing. I say amazing because, not only are the accuracy of knock-offs impressive, but the speed of copying a product is breathtaking. On one hand this … Read More
On the surface, China Sourcing sounds risky. Working half way around the world, with a completely different culture and system, with a very difficult language sets off flags in many a CEOs mind. But we all know that if you are stagnant and not expanding you are at risk in todays business environment. We also know that China in not only the quality manufacturer to the world, but now the second largest market. So where is China in your business plan? I said it before; China is either a place to cut your manufacturing or distribution cost, an emerging market or a direct competitor. Sometimes all three.
I get 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. There is a whole list of things we do including the development of a check lists, photos and video confirmation and third party materials testing just to name a few. But what I don’t talk too much about is what else we are doing behind the scenes to increase accountability on the China side and both sides for that matter. It is something we do to make our job so much easier in China but 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