Thursday, February 24, 2011

Smoke and Mirrors in China Sourcing

Working for a big name client?
Would they approve of this factory and its conditions?

Just because you walked around the Canton Trade Fair in Guangzhou, collected name cards and catalogues, doesn’t mean you are really clear on what’s going on with your sourcing. 

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Show Your Work!

Inner-factory communication usually not that great:
press your contact to get proper updates from the production line.

In math class you were probably taught, more than once by the teacher, to “show your work.”  Just getting the correct answer was not sufficient, you had to show your path to the goal, right? 

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Going Cold on Offshore Projects

Avoid going cold on your projects.  Whether it’s a downtime in communication with your supplier, a delay from your brand in approval or whatever the reason, do what you can to avoid it.   
Worker at Material Dying Kiln: This guy is probably not too concerned
with your brand/client and if they had proper time to sign-off on the next campaign. 
I’ve said it before, but it bears repeating;  if you don’t seem concerned and motivated over your project, guess who else is not going to be highly motivated? That’s right, the overseas (China specifically) factory and supplier…. 

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Smaller Volumes a Must? A Few Key Pts….

Is the order large enough for the factory to
stop, check, care, implement, fix, etc..?

One point to add: trade companies will actively promote the ability to offer smaller quantity runs.  This is a tactic to rope in buyers, because they’ve heard the overseas customers beg for small quantities.  Their idea is “give the public what they want”.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Reasons Against Doing Small Quantities Offshore

Factories feed off large volumes.
Is your order paying the bills?
In the promotional product and branded merchandise industry:  when is the right time to take your inquiry offshore?   Usually the answer to that question is directly related to the quantity of the order. 

As China, on the surface, is becoming more and more accessible, I can sense confusion among offshore buyers as to what quantity is worth pursuing, what quantity is worth taking offshore and what quantity is worth to bring to the beast that is the factory.  

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Chinese New Year's Eve

Living Room or Parlor: inside a typical
country-side home, decorated for the Holiday

Today is Chinese New Year’s Eve.  The last day of “Year of the Tiger” and “Year of the Rabbit” is hopping in. 

This is my 9th Chinese New Year in China….wow, just typing that makes me realize how long I’ve been here.  I’ve lived in China for almost 1/3 of my life.

Chinese New Year is a great time of year.  Many folks consider it the equivalent to Christmas time in the Western hemisphere.  Having spent time in both holiday seasons, I would say “yes and no” to that.   But perhaps that’s a different blog…. For now, want to highlight things to like about Chinese New Year.