Articles by: chinablueprint

Design communications are the key to successful importing!

This is a supplementary blog to the previous discussion on writing your quality assurance system… Designs and specifications must be made in accordance with strict instructions. This requires clear design communications between the importer and the manufacturer. Design specifications are typically set out in a specification document or series of documents and are reviewed regularly. Changes or modifications to the designs must be approved and all parties involved need to be updated. For new and small importers this is as important as it is to large scale importers. You can achieve this through creating a document specification that details all…

Donald Trump – employ the best people but never trust them!

I recently heard Donald Trump speak at an event in Sydney, where he mentioned that one of his many keys to success was “employ the best people but never trust them’. It resonated with me because I think it can apply across a number of business scenarios. One in particular is ‘employ the best factories but never trust them!’ (Hopefully Donald doesn’t mind me taking creative license)

How not to get caught out!

A contract is an important part of risk management and your quality assurance system. Without one you may get caught out with no where to turn if things go wrong. Trading in China can be dangerous, especially when you don’t know who you are really dealing with. By taking the time to prepare a contract/s you will need to address a number of questions and provide a solution that both parties are agreeable to before you commence trade. Think of it as your guide to ensuring you tick all the boxes, as well as your action plan in the case…

Importer blues – when you think you are dealing with a factory

We were recently approached by an importer who came across our site after he had been experiencing some problems with a supplier in China. His product was an electrical item that was to be made of stainless steel for the food industry. The Importer had sent a 50% deposit but hadn’t yet fully finished communicating all the changes he wanted, when out of the blue he got a call saying “the goods are finished come and get them” – you can imagine his surprise! In the Importers mind the money was sent simply as a goodwill gesture. He didn’t realize…

Importers – writing your quality system

Whilst your factory is ultimately responsible for the final finish of your products, many new importers will be surprised to hear that they should also develop their own set of quality assurance systems to ensure their outcomes. A quality assurance system means different things for different people. For non-professionals who now find themselves in the import game it simply means a set of procedures overseeing their communication and due diligence processes.

Is a contract worth anything in China?

Let me set you straight on contracts… Import or Trade contracts are of the utmost importance to importers. It is not suffice to let your manufacturer prepare one, nor is it good enough to have a few terms jotted down on a the bottom of a purchase invoice.Whilst this seems common sense to me, I am continually inundated with client referrals where contracts are not in place and where business owners do not believe they are necessary. The common excuse is that “contracts mean nothing in China” and “even if I had a contract its unlikely that I would litigate…

Is sending a copy of your Australian (AS/NZ) standard enough?

Is sending a copy of your Australian (AS/NZ) standard enough? Will Chinese factories be able to read, understand and then comply with your standards? For goods that are legally required to meet Australian standards, we find our customers struggling with how to get their China factory to achieve compliance.It is thought that if a copy of the standard is sent via email to the factory, that the factory should be able to interpret them, put in place compliance procedures and then guarantee the outcome…

Packaging your import products – be specific!

If you’re manufacturing goods in China, getting the right packaging for your product/s is critical. There are few parts of the manufacturing process more important than providing clear, concise instructions for how your products should be packed. If you get it wrong, any of the following unpleasant scenarios could easily occur: You’ll wind up with ugly or unsuitable products which no consumer will touch Your goods may be damaged in transit You’ll be faced with a hefty bill for repairs or have to commission entirely new packaging Worst of all, if the barcodes don’t function properly, big chains may reject…

The business of importing – calculating the true cost!

Are you worried about the cost of due diligence? Is it because you really have no idea about how much it costs and no one has told you how to calculate or plan for it? Let me explain this for you so that you can stop making silly mistakes, taking on bigger and bigger risks! Firstly, let me start with “manufacturing in China can be cheap, but cheap means greater risk”. There are generally two types of risk associated with manufacturing in China which is why due diligence is so important. The first type is when you risk getting the…

What do you standardize, what do you decentralize? The case of Kentucky Fried Chicken

I attended a great seminar yesterday (24th March), presented by David Thomas called, “The Australian Financial Forum in Sydney”. One of the key presentations was on Shifting your Centre of Gravity to Asia by Nigel Andrade (McKinsey & Co). An important question Nigel brought up was ‘when taking your company global, what do you standardize and what do you decentralize?’This is one of the main challenges for Western companies going into China.