Chinese Sourcing Can Save You Money, If You Follow These Rules

China has one of the largest and fastest growing economies in the world, and is on track to surpass the United States. As a leader in manufacturing capabilities, China continues to be one of the most sought-after locations to source low cost manufactured products.  Here are some important tips for inventors and others trying to get their products manufactured:


Chinese Manufacturing Qualities

Although Chinese products at one time were known as cheap and poorly made, today’s Chinese manufacturing can produce goods from low value mass produced items to highest quality handcrafted items. The keys for effectively sourcing products from overseas manufacturers are providing exacting specifications, performing diligent verification of potential suppliers, and providing rigorous quality control. Sourcing of items from overseas manufacturers should always start with a highly detailed product specification in order to avoid potential product problems, as well as to ensure your credibility to the manufacturer.

Product Specification Are Critical In Manufacturing

It is essential to provide a specification that is very exacting with clear expectations of deliverables. Specifications should include, at minimum, two-dimensional drawings, detailed description of product usage, product prototypes, and photographs of existing products. Additionally, quantities of product needed, broken down by delivery schedule as well as an estimated quantity you will need within a year. Some of the types of goods successfully sourced in China include plastics and plastic parts, garments and other sewn items, toys, electronic items of all categories, and sporting goods.

For smaller companies that do not have a presence in China, there are a number of ways to locate suppliers to source goods as well as parts. Internet searching using sourcing platforms such as, Global Sources, and will turn up thousands of manufacturers. Using a site that offers credit check services and capability assessment services helps protect the potential purchaser. Some sites also have a list of banned members, or detailed reports focusing on specific sourcing, including verified qualified providers.

It is advisable to make initial contact with several manufacturers in order to research capability before you make a final determination. Although social media is not the best way to locate potential manufacturers, it does have potential usefulness as a source of reviews on various manufacturers. Trade shows, both in China and at home, are a good way to meet potential manufacturers and have a face to face discussion regarding manufacturing capabilities and other essential business processes such as quality control. Communication and language difficulties can be a barrier to effectively using trade shows to locate a manufacturer. In general, it is a good idea to have a translator available to ensure you are communicating effectively with the manufacturing company. If you eventually conduct a business transaction with a Chinese company it will be necessary to employ a translator during business negotiations.

Cost Savings Only Come From Diligence

No matter what source you eventually use to locate a manufacturer, It is important to proceed with caution, detailed communication and exacting specifications at each step of the process. Employing an independent inspection on your manufactured goods is highly recommended before you accept possession. As with any manufacturing process, there are likely to be errors of construction or quantity that require correction prior to you taking possession of the product. Although sourcing goods in China raises potential risks such as low quality products and difficulty with enforcing contract standards, it can also be a significant cost savings for those companies willing to do the proper diligence and risk mitigation. As with any foreign transaction, caution and research are keys to a successful business arrangement.

For mre tips and information on manufacturing your invention, check out 4 Things You Need To KNow About Manufacturing in China and check out our Manufacturing Your Invention section of our site