Do Your Homework Before China Sourcing I recently returned from the incredible Affordable Shopping Destination 2017 international business to business trade show in Las Vegas where I was a featured speaker. ASD connects some 45,000 buyers with thousands of vendors and exhibitors, including factory representatives from China and elsewhere. I was honored to share the stage with a number of … 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
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”
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.
“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.
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.