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
There are tons of articles and books on the do’s and don’t of etiquette and culture in China. Everyone who wants to do business in China should have this basic understanding. But once you are past these formalities and want to develop a long term relationship, the foundation I like to build on is “I am not the hammer and you are not the nail”
Every year at this time I am giddy with excitement and anticipation at the prospect of attending the Canton Fair in Guangzhou China. I have attend the Canton Fair over 12 times in the last 10 years and I am always amazed. Maybe I am easily impressed but you tell me if there is anything trade show wise that is more impressive than the Canton Fair?
So what does business transparency have to do with Sourcing in China? I will get to that in a minute, but let me set the stage.
As the transparency movement drives businesses to be more open about their products and services, it is becoming routine to expect full disclosure on the who, what, when, where and how our products and services offered. It has gone way beyond “features and benefits”, and now with instant tools like FaceBook and Twitter just to name a few, we are at the instantaneous mercy of the fingertips of our customers.
I was thinking about my job and what it really represents. It struck me that sourcing products and services in China is all about change and I am really a change agent. I guess that is why I only deal with top executives as change is too difficult to power up from the bottom. Powering change from the top down is where change is most likely to occur. And change seams like such a natural process, but I know from personal experience that it can be seam painful.