China leads the world in terms of manufacturing output. It owns an impressive capacity for manufacturing and has a massive network of suppliers that continues to grow, parts and components manufacturers, and skilled labor. Below are 4 things to know before manufacturing in China.
In the last decade even though labor wages have gone up, China remains the most attractive location for production as its factories are superior when it comes to technology, efficiency, quality and infrastructure.
For the reasons stated above you should definitely consider having your product made in China. However this process can be difficult and overwhelming.
1) What are Sourcing Agents?
When manufacturing overseas third parties are frequently necessary because factories often lack internal systems for negotiating with foreign customers. They may sometimes not have any english speakers available. This will force you to frequently work with “middle men” or sourcing agents.
These sourcing agents will definitely add to your production costs and take away from the transparency of your business model. There are definitely useful and honest sourcing companies out there, but they are difficult to find.
Sourcing agents contact manufacturers on behalf of the client helping him or her find the products they need or the factories they need; the agent then takes a commission from the overall sale. However you do not usually know what commission they are taking, and even if they tell you there might be additional commissions exclusively between the factory and the middle man. It is very difficult to find out how much of a cost your sourcing company is adding to your overall production costs.
This is one of the reasons we started Rad Sourcing. Rad Sourcing is a U.S. based company with a team in China, we provide superior transparency and lower costs than sourcing companies in China. If you are curious how then please reach out to us on the contact us page on www.radsourcing.com
2) Relationship with your Factory
One of the difficult things about manufacturing in China is choosing a factory to work with, this is true no matter what product you are manufacturing.
To have success manufacturing in China, you need to have strong relationships with the manufacturer as this is an essential component in their culture. If you can visit the factory, someone on your team should. This will strengthen your bond with your manufacturing partner. This could pay dividends in the form of lower costs, better lead times, and priority when their schedules fill up.
This will also give you and your team a chance to perform quality control and see where your products are being produced. New Product offerings will also be easier to start for you if you have strong relationships with the manufacturer.
3) Effective and Low-Cost Communication
After you find several factories you want to work with you will have to start reaching out to them.
Chinese manufacturers have started hiring more english speakers, but many still rely on translation tools which can make the process very difficult. Most will encourage communication through email and in writing due to this. It is also good to have proof of what was spoken or agreed on in case there is a misunderstanding later.
Use simple, short sentences that are free from difficult words. As we mentioned earlier, many representatives use translation software and cannot handle complex sentences. If your product requires complex language, it is best to use a professional translator. You can also try to have a native speaker on your team.
Another technique is to organize your communication. List your points and questions in numerical order, so it is in an easy-to-understand format. They will usually respond, and this will help both parties make sure nothing is forgotten.
4) Cutting Lead Times and Cutting Costs
Factory do not like when businesses are not specific about product expectations and details. Often times they will simply make a guess which almost always will result in errors, frustrations, and increased lead times.
You want to make sure your product design files are accurate and clear. The longest exacerbations in lead times and costs are due to poor communication and inadequate design files. Make sure your designer has manufacturing experience and is designing for manufacturability. This means they are designing a great product while keeping manufacturing costs in mind. Small changes in the design files can drastically change minimum order quantity and cost.
Thank you for reading about 4 things you should know before manufacturing in China, we hope this was helpful for you.
If you need support or have a question please do not hesitate to contact us.