As already pointed out in our eBook How To Assure Quality Of Imports From China we strongly suggest to visit your factories in China on a regular basis.
Since every business trip from your home country costs a lot of money, it is usually prohibitive to do this all by yourself. If you appoint a representative who is already in Asia, it would be a good compromise and help to save cost without jeopardizing your quality concerns.
Why is it that you want to visit your factory by yourself or through a representative?
- You want to see whom you entrust with your precious orders before you place them
- You want to meet the factory management and determine whether it is trustworthy and competent
- You want to see which degree of technical sophistication was implemented by the factory
- You want to control whether the factory can comply with the Chinese Labor Laws which prohibit Child Labor and too long working hours
- You want to see who else has placed orders with that factory
- You want to see which actual production capacity the factory really has as opposed to what they have claimed before
- You want to see whether the factory is already subcontracting part of their production to other factories
These evaluations must take place before you place your first orders. After the orders have been already placed you have committed yourself and are in a weaker negotiation position for changes.
We have a lot of experience with large volume importers like Wal-Mart who rightly put a lot of pressure on their suppliers and their factories in order to maintain a given quality level and a punctual delivery.
A punctual delivery is certainly important for every importer because most of the imported products have been already presold to key customers and you do not want to risk your business with them by an unreliable factory.
… This is of course unrealistic and many factories could even run into bankruptcy if they agreed to such demands …
Many importers impose tough demands on their factories for unpunctual deliveries and even request them to ship goods by air freight if they miss the deadline which was set. This is of course unrealistic and many factories could even run into bankruptcy if they agreed to such demands.
Therefore you are advised to better look for a closer cooperation with the factory which would immediately alert you if something unexpected happens. Unfortunately something unexpected happens more often than you can imagine.
You would have at this stage still the chance to act, instead of negotiating unrealistic demands when it is already too late for changes.
Visiting one or more factories is relatively easy because they will arrange the transport for you and even would not mind to deliver you to their competitor.
Since the transport occupies a lot of your precious time, you are well advised to make enquiries first with your factories for their exact locations. If you make your schedule according to their suggestions, you can save substantial time which is more urgent needed for discussions.
It is obvious that, as the title of this eBook already says, you should visit the factories and not meet the factory management in your nice hotel. That would be much more convenient but is meaningless if you really want to know whom you are dealing with.
China is such a fast changing country, that you would be surprised how much factories can change within a year’s period. In other words “been there, seen it all” would be a total wrong position because everything could have changed in the meantime.
We have experienced it many times and know what we are talking about. If you want to accompany us during our factory visit, buy our eBook How To Make Chinese Factory Visits More Successful and you will learn what to look out for and which tricks the factories may use to distract you from seeing too much.