Chinese Manufacturing Solutions Blog

Complete Manufacturing and Distribution Blog

Oct 25, 2018

Why the Trade War is Not Slowing Anytime Soon

Takeaways from 12th Annual China Town Hall

On October 9, 2018 the National Committee on US China Relations hosted their 12th Annual China Town Hall in Tampa Bay, Florida. The National Committee is a private, non-partisan, non-profit organization whose purpose is to promote understand and cooperation between two of the world’s great nations.

At the 12th Annual China Town Hall, Secretary Condoleezza Rice  along with industry experts discussed the rising US-China tensions, the US-China business landscape, and what comes next. I spoke with David Alexander, CMD’S USA Partner and CEO of Bay Source Global who participated as a panelist to collaborate on a summary. Here are the main takeaways:

Sep 23, 2018

Asia Manufacturing Solutions: Is Thailand a Viable Plan B?

This year, we are refreshing our understanding of the manufacturing landscape in Thailand. Through extensive sourcing efforts followed by visits to dozens of facilities on behalf of clients, we are establishing relationships with the most relevant factories. The top takeaways:  A solid industrial base, on par with China's manufacturing landscape, is well established.  Quality and capability is high (including IATF and TS for automotive, thanks to a Japanese influence on manufacturing). A culture of customer service is refreshing, despite the challenges with English. And the biggest concern is capacity: many plants are 60-90% utilized, and more investment will be needed to support additional volume.  The bottom line:  get in now, get in early…

Aug 29, 2018

Asia Manufacturing Solutions: 6 Supply Chain Alternatives to China

As the trade war heats up, supply chain managers with China interests have been fighting it on two fronts:  1) asking suppliers to absorb some of the tariff-related costs, and 2) attempting to pass along price increases to customers.  Both are a tough sell.   So it's not surprising that we're spending many an evening talking to leaders about alternative countries beyond China.  The six you'll read about here are the candidates most often discussed, and each has pros and cons. 

Aug 23, 2018

Evolving from Detection to Prevention:  Quality Assurance and Quality Control

You'll often hear quality assurance (QA) used interchangeably with quality control (QC).  In practice, they are very different. 

Quality assurance is proactive.  The entire cradle to grave product life cycle is considered, and specifications are crafted for not only the customer-driven product requirements, but also specific processes that result in a quality outcome.   The outcomes are both physical and perceived experiences that are essential to the brand.    The goal of QA is to build a cost-effective, repeatable product that delights the customer. 

Quality control is  reactive.  QC is about checking parts, validating specs are met, and catching defects before they ship to the customer.

Aug 1, 2018

The US-China Trade War: Ways to Mitigate Risk

No longer a war of words, the trade situation between two of the largest economies in the world has escalated into a full-blown trade war. With the US imposing substantial tariffs on Chinese goods, and China responding in kind, experts agree that this trade war is not blowing over anytime soon.

If you’re still taking a wait-and-see approach, the risks are rising.  We believe the time is now to  start strategizing contingency plans.

Aug 1, 2018

Actionable Tips for Negotiating Contracts in China

Negotiating in China is a very different process than in the United States and other western countries. When a business does a deal in the west, parameters and specifications are agreed on and carried out through the life of the contract. In China, the initial contract is the starting point of the business relationship or negotiations. As far as any Chinese partners are concerned, negotiations carry on until the business relationship has ended. Price points, customer priority, fill times, all aspects of a current contract are subject to change when filled by a Chinese counterpart. 

Jul 30, 2018

The 8 Risks When Outsourcing Offshore

A major decision within your supply chain strategy lies in whether you will be producing in-house or outsourcing certain functions. Offshoring some areas of your product development are viable options due to cost optimization, time efficiencies, and local specialization. In addition to that, it brings back focus to your core business.

Jul 25, 2018

5 Best Practices for Improving Supplier Performance in China

When it comes down to it, supplier quality can make or break an outsourcing project. Improving supplier performance can range from a relatively simple task to entirely impossible depending on how the supplier was chosen in the first place.

Jul 21, 2018

3 Cost Reduction Strategies When Outsourcing Your Operations Offshore

In the early days of outsourcing, much of the focus was on manufacturing labor costs. Specifically, the process involved comparing costs of offshore outsourcing to maintaining operations in a company's home country.

Jul 16, 2018

The Future Of Outsourcing: China Alternatives

In today’s world of global trade and interconnected supply chains, the effects of events such as a trade war ripple far and wide. With that said, the US-China trade war will have a deep impact on companies with stakes in China. We’re already seeing headlines surrounding substantial tariffs being imposed on Chinese goods by the US and vice versa.