Working Through China Manufacturing Service Pitfalls

Overseas manufacturing can be a business saver. In fact, companies that already know how to do it and know what to watch, continue to benefit over time. Certain benefits include lower product costs and scalability with no capital outlay for example. There’s also available expertise as needed, greater flexibility, and product “running changes” at a fraction of the cost.

If a company doesn’t know how it’s done, they could negate all the inherent benefits that come with China manufacturing services. Consequently, the result could be a costly failure. Most companies aren’t lucky enough to find the perfect factory or have the resources available to reliably “do it themselves”. And those same US companies are also unfamiliar with developing positive, working relationships with China manufacturing services. This is why they need an industry expert like ITI Manufacturing. ITI will help US companies save time, money, effort, and even sleepless nights.

Working with a reliable and knowledgeable China manufacturing company well-versed in the details is the shortcut to successful offshore manufacturing. No need to learn as you go, or pay the high cost tuition of Hard Knocks University.

When you choose to partner with a professional China manufacturing industry expert, it’s just as important as having business insurance. When something goes wrong, you’re covered by an on-the-ground, on-site partner. That partner will also work through various issues face-to-face with the factory on your behalf. Below, we will review a few of the common pitfalls that companies will unintentionally face. We’ve also provided information on how an experienced China manufacturing service company can help.

Unclear Specifications

Specifications that are unclear or incomplete to the factory is the single most common issue when going offshore. No one knows the product better than the company that invented it. The bad news is the people who know the product best oftentimes have the most difficulty explaining it. They know the product too well and, at some level, give others who are totally unfamiliar with it too much credit. When designers don’t clearly define product specifications, factories will delay production until they’re sure of what they’re making.

Not only should factories have mechanical drawings and a perfect sample, but they also need materials and surface/finish specs. Moreover, it’s important that they know how the product usage, performance expectations, and details regarding its functionality. What many forget, or may not realize, is that here in the USA we are extremely creative. Many of the products, and the “problems” they solve, typically don’t exist in other countries. That is one reason why providing mechanical drawings and a sample, although absolutely necessary and a good start, may not be enough information for a factory to be able to faithfully duplicate a product.

Unprotected Ideas

Intellectual property protection is a huge issue. How does a company keep its product from being “ripped off”? Unfortunately, with marketplace products, there’s no restriction on who can purchase them, or where they will ship to after purchase. This is true for products manufactured in China, the USA, or anywhere else in the world. Someone getting a sample of your product is one thing, them getting access to the product’s specifications is quite another. This is another important and vital area where a China manufacturing service company like ITI can be of service.

ITI has a China-based attorney on retainer because most China factories will write all their non-disclosure and non-compete agreements in Chinese. With our attorneys, we help ensure that there’s nothing “lost in translation”. In fact, there is an understanding of keeping the customer’s specifications secure. At ITI, we thoroughly vet and inspect each factory that we select and choose to do business with. For added protection, ITI also has direct contact with the Intellectual Property Office of Homeland Security.

Too Many Revisions

“New and Improved” have always been a reason to either buy more or a new version of a product. This is true no matter if the product is retail or industrial. Changing or modifying a product can involve color, materials, finish, or something more substantial. What is important to understand is that modifications require no less of a process than when the product was first manufactured.

For example, you must ensure clear specifications, and provide samples that customers have already tested and approved for you. Only then does the factory receive the go ahead. When companies rush a change, especially when they view that change as “easy”, it becomes the source of many issues… None of them good. An experienced China manufacturing service company like ITI helps businesses understand that even though time is money, a product change must happen in an orderly manner.

Shipping Delays

Actual delays in shipping are infrequent but, due to security procedures that are now in place, seem to pop up at the most inopportune time. The message here is that there is always a possibility any particular container can be randomly selected for inspection. Companies that wait until the last minute to place their purchase orders are rolling the dice. The fact is the vast majority of delays that occur are due to circumstances that happen prior to the container being delivered to the port. Of these, a large portion is avoidable. A reliable, experienced China manufacturing service like ITI can help keep these delays to a minimum.

Contact ITI and discuss the issues you are having. We’ve been helping customers enjoy worry-free manufacturing services in Asia for over 40 years. We can help you, too.

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