For a country that encompasses the largest population in the world and which is known as the manufacturing capital of the world because of its sheer manpower, China has come a very long way. Being the pioneer in manufacturing industry standards, there is a dearth of people who would offer excellent quality control services for any company that wants to comply with certain international standards of manufacturing. Wouldn’t it be crazy for a company not to have a quality control inspection done of its China product before shipping?
When thinking about China there is always a temptation to tell yourself that your industry, your situation, your business is somehow different. Sure, you can see how an injection moulding company having complex moulds manufactured in China for a medical device customer needs a robust agreement between themselves and their China tool manufacturer, but you’re only manufacturing a specific type of hydraulic seal for a proprietary OEM hydraulic cylinder. Surely you don’t need to worry about having all the same agreements in place – until of course something bad happens: you can’t move your tool to another manufacturer, you find out your “proprietary” seal is – well – not so “proprietary” any more, or you can’t get product released from the manufacturer because your Chinese partner has all of a sudden decided to change terms on you. The point is this: the best-intentioned businesses that begin to work in China tend to make the same mistakes, regardless of industry.
Companies need certain agreements to be drafted to ensure their China-manufactured goods meet certain quality standards. This combination of a good OEM contract and good quality control monitoring means your regular clients virtually never call you for legal assistance relating to quality problems simply because they have so few quality issues or their contract means they are well-positioned to resolve them quickly without having to call in the lawyers. Additionally, the same companies that pay for a good contract and good quality control monitoring tend to be the same companies that conduct due diligence on their potential Chinese suppliers before they enter into any agreement with them and it is these three things in combo that truly reduce the likelihood of quality problems.