Before You Manufacture in China…

Consider These 6 Important Things About Manufacturing Overseas

China is the go-to country for USA-based companies manufacturing overseas. However, as those companies can attest, there are considerations that must be carefully evaluated prior to going down that road.

#1 China’s Culture and Laws

For businesses to grow and succeed in China, the owners of those businesses must have an understanding of Chinese customs and laws, particularly regarding business interactions and corporate etiquette. Many foreign companies, as well as some based in China, are successful largely because they have built good relationships. The Chinese word is guanxi, which refers to social and business connections formed via a methodical approach, and a focus on mutual interest, benefit, and trust.

#2 Communication Obstacles

Chinese people are interested in English as a language, but a surprising number are not fluent to the point of being able to conduct a business conversation. A good command of the English language is particularly important, especially in the manufacturing world. Those who are not well-versed run into serious challenges. As a result, surprising issues can mysteriously appear in manufacturing operations and final products. Email messages can be sent at any time, but the simplest massage can be misinterpreted. A manager or business owner who wants to keep in touch with their Chinese manufacturer may find the schedule and nuances of communication to be cumbersome and, at times, overwhelming and frustrating.

#3 Different Time Zones

When considering America’s Daylight Saving Time, there’s a 13-hour difference between Central Time and Chinese time. When a company tries China manufacturing on its own, it can mean making Skype or phone calls at unusual hours.

#4 Insufficient Personal Interaction

No matter how “smart” our electronic devices become, the most effective communication is still face to face. Real reality is better than virtual reality. When specs and details must be precise, communication methods become even more important. When cultural, time zone, and language complexities are added to the mix, personal interaction becomes critical. This is why working with a China contract manufacturer who has “boots on the ground” and is face-to-face with factory personnel, saves time, money, and a lot of sleepless nights.

Industrial engineer on the phone
ITI’s facility-grounds professionals communicate frequently with production updates.

#5 Infrequent Production Updates

Finally, the supply chain management aspect of access to production status is a big challenge when manufacturing overseas. This may be regarded as a combination of the above-mentioned scenarios but it’s one of the most important. Knowing the facts of your product’s status can make the difference between a delayed shipment and one that’s on time. When shipments are late, there can be a domino effect that could potentially negate all of the advantages of manufacturing in China.

#6 Consider an Established USA-Based China Contract Manufacturer

There are tremendous benefits to manufacturing overseas; but, as we have discussed, there are challenges and risks that can erode or eliminate any advantage China manufacturing can offer.  ITI Manufacturing’s face-to-face approach allows their China-based teams to monitor your project details throughout the manufacturing process.

Working through ITI Manufacturing means you not only communicate in English, but you can also call and receive feedback during your normal working business hours. If your company is contemplating manufacturing, or if you are currently manufacturing overseas and having issues, you should call the team at ITI Manufacturing. Call us toll-free at 281-242-7030 and learn the benefits of China contract manufacturing.

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