Negotiating for Slower Price Increases from Chinese Factories

21 March 2014

So, your Chinese manufacturers ask for price increases in the 10-20% range. Are you unsure of what to answer? Here are few tips. First, tell them you don’t understand You might have a few arguments in your favor: Maybe your volumes have increased. Shouldn’t you be entitled to lower prices? Maybe you have been a […]

Read more →

Auditing General Machining Processes in China

19 March 2014

Machining is an operation that changes the shape, surface finish, and/or mechanical properties of a material by the application of special tools and equipment. This is typically carried out by machines where a cutting tool removes material to effect the required change to the work piece. Different shapes can be formed by different processes; some […]

Read more →

7 Tips to Prevent the “Different Bank Account” Scam

17 March 2014

More and more buyers are being scammed into wiring tens — sometimes hundreds — of thousands of dollars to the wrong bank account.  This scam comes mainly in two forms: A crime organization hacks its way into the supplier’s email system and sends invoices to customers. Tracking the people behind these bank accounts is usually impossible. […]

Read more →

Checking if Electrical Products are Still Compliant in Production

13 March 2014

A few days ago I got the following question from a reader: We import Consumer Electronics and would like to check that products have not changed components from the original CE and that they still pass CE requirements. That’s a great question. Getting a certificate based on a pre-production sample is one thing, and ensuring […]

Read more →

Overview of the Thailand Production Sector

10 March 2014

Here is another piece of research by our marketing assistant Maria, this time about Thailand’s top export industries, trends, labor costs, and logistical issues. A Highly Attractive Country, on Paper Thailand has the 17th largest manufacturing output and 28th biggest export volume in the world. The World Bank Ease of Doing Business 2014 study also ranks […]

Read more →

Increasing Labor Productivity will be Key to China Success

7 March 2014

The conference organized last week by the European Chamber of Commerce in China was extremely interesting. I took notes during the other speakers’ presentations, and a theme came back again and again: if China doesn’t increase its labor productivity, times are going to get tough: Tough for China because its potential growth will be seriously […]

Read more →

Examples of Mistakes when Purchasing from China

5 March 2014

Here are some interesting or useful articles that I found recently. The dangers of miscommunication: 4 examples to learn from Global Sources asked several companies to give examples of mistakes they made/witnessed. Lessons to learn! 7 Mistakes on China Factory Visits That Make You Look Inexperienced Matt Slater, a lead auditor at SAI Global, list […]

Read more →

Auditing a Plastic Injection Molding Process in China

3 March 2014

We are continuing with our series of articles about a specific process. What is Injection Molding? Injection Molding as a process has been around since the early 1930s, but a lot has changed since those early days. The injection mold machines have become sophisticated pieces of equipment with closed loop control systems monitoring every aspect […]

Read more →

Due Diligence and Business Intelligence in China

28 February 2014

A few days ago I had a good discussion with Jeremy Gordon, director of China Business Services, about supplier due diligence. We both agreed that due diligence is necessary, but not sufficient. 1. Due diligence, before working with a new supplier Conducting due diligence on a potential supplier consists of several steps: Background checks - the idea is […]

Read more →

Overview of the Vietnam Production Sector

24 February 2014

Our marketing assistant Maria has done research on the Vietnam manufacturing sector: the top export industries, the trends, the labor costs, and logistics. Here is her article. Textile and Clothing – top sector no more? Out of all Vietnam manufacturing sectors, the most known would probably be the textile industry. Due to extremely competitive wage policies, […]

Read more →

Auditing a Die Casting Process in China

21 February 2014

This is the first in a series of articles about the way we audit specific process. When I look at the quality assurance agencies that offer services to importers in China, they all seem to prefer “horizontal” requirements (quality system, social compliance, environment…), rather than on industry-specific needs. So we have developed ways to evaluate […]

Read more →

The Special Inspection Levels in the AQL Tables

19 February 2014

A few years ago I wrote about the inspection levels, but some people are still confused about the “special” levels (S1, S2, S3, and S4). Here is what the ISO 2859-1 standard says (emphasis mine): The inspection level designates the relative amount of inspection. Three inspection levels, I, II and III, are given in Table […]

Read more →