Within the United States, as well as across the globe, products that are made in China are increasingly abundant on store shelves. Done right, manufacturing in China delivers significant benefits. However, concerns linger regarding quality and how a lack of or repeatable, consistent quality could negatively impact America’s entrepreneurs. If your company has the right tools when manufacturing off shore you will be successful in protecting yourself from “quality fade” as well as other issues that can plague the unprepared. There are actions you can take to prevent most of the common issues that plague off shore manifesting projects.
Tip #1- Due Diligence
Due diligence sounds great, but is often viewed as time consuming, boring, and, if done correctly, a tedious endeavor. Yet, it is also critical. Due diligence is a must for well-established international businesses, as well as the start-up whose product just took off and is now in need of lower costs and greater production capacity. Research the companies you’re considering as your made in China partners. Embrace the time and expense required to visit facilities in person. Write your questions down and ask those questions when you visit. If it’s a good enough question to write down, its good enough to ask face-to-face. Don’t chicken out! If you don’t obtain the details that are important to your company and your specific business situation, it’s no one’s fault but yours, if an unpleasant surprise were to come down the road.
Tip #2- Get it in Writing
Contracts are crucial, and the more details you include, regarding everything from the manufacturing process you expect to be followed, to the rights surrounding your custom products, designs, and company logo, the better off everyone will be. Spend the time and money to find and utilize a knowledgeable and experienced individual who is well-versed in international law. Have contracts rewritten in English, as well as in Chinese.
Tip #3- Follow Up
Business people will never admit they let their guards down when it comes to quality control. After all, “We received two good shipments. We expected all of the shipments to be the same.” With businesses to run, and fires to put out, double-checking on details that seemingly are locked in tend to get pushed to the back burner…and then ignored all together…until there is a problem. Take the time and spend the money to hire a reputable 3rd party inspection company. These companies get paid whether shipments are good or not, and they typically check only exactly what you specify and no more, but they may save you from the expense and nightmare of a bad shipment.
When you receive their inspection report, someone intimately familiar with the product should take the time necessary to thoroughly review the findings, and not just quickly scan down the checklist. There is a wealth of detail in the inspection reports that can act as an “early warning system”, as well as a catalyst for changing the product for the better. All required testing and all inspections should be a top priority…always “top of mind”. If it’s important, it’s worth following up and confirming the smallest detail.
Tip #4- Have Good Judgement and Experience on Your Side
Rita Mae Brown said, “Good judgement comes from experience, and experience comes from bad judgement.” Good judgement in offshore manufacturing comes from experience by making bad judgement calls, or by working with a company that already has experience. ITI Manufacturing is a company with 43 years of experience in made in China offshore manufacturing. When companies work with ITI Manufacturing, all the must do’s above, and much more, are managed as part of our daily routine. Our US-based and China-based staff effectively manage projects such that we guarantee every shipment to be free of manufacturing defects.
We’ve worked with many companies large and small across a large variety of industries. We can also help you to successfully have products made in China.
If you’d like to see 1st hand what the quality assurance of made in China looks like, call us at (281) 242-7030 and speak with an expert. Or go to our website and complete the questionnaire to find out if China manufacturing is right for you.