Import Archives

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.

What will you risk to pursue your China dream?

I am reading a book at the moment that defines what makes small companies big successful ones. It’s called The Breakthrough Company by Keith McFarland. Keith has researched highly successful companies in his pursuit to understand how everyday businesses become extraordinary. He examines whether there are specific traits associated with mega success. One particular point he makes may have relevance to our readers in the midst of a start up import business or who are looking to expand their supply chain to China. This point relates to ‘the psychology of betting. He quotes Pug Pearson, a World Series Poker Champion;

Will Alibaba getting caught out stop you all from trusting the site? Probably not!

I can’t recall how many seminars I have presented at in the past, warning people about the perils of believing everything they read on the Internet, especially when sourcing ‘possible’ Chinese suppliers. The internet has made sourcing from China look easy, and sites like www.alibaba.com, have gone so far as to make it look safe! So you can imagine my delight when the latest news article came to my attention –‘Alibaba staff have been involved in fraudulent online activities’. Its seems that their sales team have been taking illegal cash payments to provide con merchants a ‘Gold Supplier’ shop front…

Asbestos car recalls – who’s responsible?

Once again we find ourselves asking questions like “how this could happen? and “who is responsible?” Australia’s laws on asbestos use are widely known, and could be considered common knowledge. It seems however that somewhere along the supply chain, someone has dropped the ball, and almost 25,000 of China’s Cheely and Great Wall cars were successfully imported to Australia – with asbestos in the engine and exhaust gasket. They have since been recalled, and the importer Atecoa has been left to clean up the mess. The question however remains as to who is responsible. Atecoa says they received written assurance…