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Challenging the misconceptions of Made in China

By Jesus David Cano Romano
November 23, 2015
Made in China


If it’s Made in China, then it’s definitely a bad quality product, that is the common assumption that comes when someone names a product which was manufactured in China. While some of the products manufactured in China are part of this description, now days China made products are becoming synonym of high quality goods, we just need to look to global brands such as Apple or Lenovo that have been manufacturing in China for a long time.

Here we enlist the common misconceptions and arguments that arise when talking about Made in China products:

 

1) Made in China products have a poor quality

For some people the first thought that comes to mind when someone says that its made in China, is “Poor Quality”, but this is NOT the case. We shall not blame a country because a poor quality product. We need to mention that the key for a successful China Manufacturing Project is an adequate Project Management and a strict Quality Control Regime along the process, let’s explain this:

• Find the Right Supplier: 

Finding a supplier in China might seem easy, due all the resources and databases available now days, but finding a reliable one, might require bit more of work and some expertise.

The Internet and the vast number of Trade shows have broaden the specter of China Based Suppliers, but having more suppliers doesn’t mean that all of them are trusted or capable to fulfill your business needs.

 

Check How to Find Reliable Suppliers in China

 

Having the right supplier will ensure your manufacturing project will be done according to your product specifications. Majority of the times poor quality goods come from picking the wrong supplier which normally was chosen only based on the price. 

• Define your product specifications:

This can seem an obvious task, but having set clearly your specifications prior the production process is key to have a successfully manufactured product.

Clear, easily comprehensive and uniform instructions are the first step to ensure that the product will be produced as envisioned and is also important for developing a strong relation with your supplier. As more detailed and organized are the instructions we give to the supplier, more accurate will be he final output, so as the quotations and estimate lead times.

 

Check Common Mistakes when outsourcing manufacturing and sourcing from China

 

• Establish a Quality Control regime:

Quality is an aspect that needs to be addressed when Manufacturing in China, trusting the supplier when talking about Quality can be an expensive mistake. For ensuring a smooth production you need to establish a comprehensive Quality Control regime over the production, covering from auditing the supplier to conducting several inspections through the whole production process, and before shipping the goods, this in order to avoid any potential pitfall that can be pricey for you and your business. Remember that having eyes and ears on the ground can be the difference between a successful project and a manufacturing nightmare.

 

Check How to maintain Quality while Manufacturing in China

 

Check Why you need to establish a Quality Control regime when Manufacturing in China?

 

2) I only get products not made in China

This is something that seems almost impossible due that according to The Economist in 1990 China produced less than 3% of global manufacturing output by value; its share now is nearly a quarter.

China produces about 80% of the world’s air-conditioners, 70% of its mobile phones and 60% of its shoes, just to name a few.

China became the largest manufacturing economy in the world in 2010 (with a 23.2% share of manufacturing activity) through extremely fast growth in the physical volume of value-added and modest inflation. The U.S. is in second place with a 17.2% share. China has more than four times the population of the United States, and though its manufacturing intensity of $1,978 per capita value-added in 2013 is high for a developing economy, it is well behind advanced countries such as the United States ($6,338).

Last but not least here a small selection of products that are made in China:

70 % of worlds umbrellas
60 % of worlds buttons
72 % of U.S. shoes
85 % of U.S. Christmas lights
48% of U.S. kitchen appliances
49% of U.S. toys

 

Check 9 Facts to Know about China Manufacturing

 

3) China has a lot of labour issues

A couple of decades ago Asian countries were criticised by the amount of issues related to labour abuse cases inside the factories (e.g. forced labour, child labour, low wages, etc.) but in the recent years this scenario has changed and majority of the Chinese and South East Asia suppliers in the recent times have labeled themselves as “SA8000 certified” which is synonym of compliance with Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) standards.

By Conducting a Social Accountability Audit on the supplier’s facility you can be sure that there’s no labour issues that can compromise your products. This Audit would normally cover the next areas: Child Labour, Forced or Compulsory Labour, Health and Safety, Freedom of Association and Right to Collective Bargaining, Discrimination, Disciplinary Practices, Working Hours, Remuneration, Management System. 

 

Check What is a Social Accountability Audit 

 

Final Word


You shall not take China out of your list of Manufacturing destinations just because some misplaced stigmas, as we mentioned for having a successful China Manufacturing project is needed to devote some extra time to pick the right supplier and conduct Quality Control inspections and Factory Audits, all this might sound like extra work and it is, but it comes with the reward and all the advantages that Manufacturing in China represents.