Thursday, 4 October 2012

Production Scehedule - Get your staff to the Factory

Today we were reminded of the importance of getting your staff into Chinese factories early on during the production process.   Factories in China will frequently take orders with a set delivery time, but will delay delivery.  This is the case for 1 of our clients who were expecting orders to be shipped out from China at the end of this month.

Quality Control Staff went to the factory in China to conduct a surprise IPC inspection on production and were astounded to see that orders were not on production lines yet.  The factory in Yiwu was busy making orders on another product for another client in Europe.

In this case the problem was traced back to the fact that the factory sales department sold more than what the factory can produce......   Factories need to keep working in order to have cash flow to pay workers.  This is the same the world over.  However, there seems to be a bigger disconnect between the sales offices and the production departments in China.   Sales teams frequently oversell on production capacity and timelines to make sure that production space is maximised and there is minimum downtime in factories.   This is a very short term strategy for factories since you are not working to attract and retain long term clients.

What is the solution here?  Check the Remedies & controls you already have in place.   Can you threaten to cancel the order?  Are there penalties for delay?  One solution is to have a strong willed staff to stay in the factory and properly force the factory to stop other production and switch to making your products.   This is a lot of work, but we find that this works well.

What are some of the main reasons for factories continuing to fail on meeting set production schedules.

  1. Sales Departments overselling.
  2. Many components are outsourced and one of the suppliers is unable to deliver.
  3. Power Outage or Electricity Breakdown causing factory closure.
  4. Lack of Staff after major holidays like Chinese New Year.
Work in safe guards through our list of Remedies on China Production.

What are your thoughts and experiences?

Tuesday, 2 October 2012

Quality Control on backpacks in China

We should not have to explain how important it is to carry out a Quality Control (QC) check when you import goods from Asia.  A good QC, made by a specialist, directly in the factory is probably the best way to avoid bad surprises.

To illustrate what a bad quality control experience is, we decided to show you this quick video.  This was sent in to us by an Australian company who paid a factory for production and received poor quality products in their warehouses.    See how they checked the quality of their backpacks.

Given that most factories will request full balance payments before products are shipped out of factories, it is important to conduct regular checks, especially before money is handed over..

In the case above, the factory is refusing to re-import bags to rework them with better finishing.  They are also refusing to make any commercial gesture to the client who is having trouble selling these bags.

If you need any assistance, or if you just want to vent some anger, feel free to contact us.