When Sourcing In China. Invest in Systems.

Monday, September 3, 2012 8:46
Posted in category From the Factory Floor

Last week Dan over at CLB loaded up another post Successful Sourcing From China. The PowerPoint to hammer home the point that firms need to take sourcing in China seriously.

And in the first slide he lays out the three things he feels firms need to have in place to source products the right way:

  • (Have a) Good manufacturer
  • (Have a) Good contract
  • (Have) Good IP protection

But I think he missed on… have a good QC SYSTEM in place. A topic I have spent significant time on as well.

For me, when I was sourcing, the last thing I ever wanted was to have to find a way to legally get a supplier to do anything.  So, we built systems instead. Systems which I have laid out before that were meant to prevent failed products or processes from leaving China’s shores while we still had the leverage and ability to exercise it.

That is not to say that lawyers aren’t important. But, as Dan’s slides allude to, there are times when even a great lawyer can’t help you… especially if your granite counter tops gravel is sitting at Long Beach

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5 Responses to “When Sourcing In China. Invest in Systems.”

  1. Dennis Arter says:

    September 3rd, 2012 at 11:10 am

    I am leading a conference in China in December to explore these issues. “Quality in Supply Chain Management” will explore cultural differences between Chinese and American approaches. December 5-6, 2012 in Xiamen. Co-sponsored by ASQ China and China Association for Quality. Info is on http://sites.google.com/site/chinaconference4/ (but it doesn’t make it through the firewall).

  2. Dan says:

    September 3rd, 2012 at 9:13 pm

    Didn’t exactly leave it out.  I didn’t put it in the PowerPoint, but I actually talked of how it could be considered the fourth key.  I leave it out of the PP for two reasons.  First, if your contract requires to pay little or nothing in advance, QC isn’t all that key.  Second, the three keys all come before the manufacturing and QC comes after.  But yeah, if I were to add a fourth, that would definitely be it.  

  3. Rich says:

    September 3rd, 2012 at 11:01 pm

    Hey Dan.

    All true, and I know where you are coming from and fully understand the confines that you were presenting under.

    For me, it is just about process and the time that needs to be investing in it. I’d much rather design the process in a way that reduces the need for a lawyer, but in many cases what I see is the opposite. The process is half ass because they feel they have effectively lawyered up in China.

    You and I have hammered at this for 5-6 years now… and I am sure we will be hammering away at it for many more!

    Hope all is well

  4. Measure Twice, Cut Once | All Roads Lead to China says:

    September 10th, 2012 at 8:32 am

    […] a quick follow up on the post from last week,When Sourcing In China. Invest in Systems, I found this fantastic passage from Yvon Chouinard’s book Let My Go People […]

  5. Phi Anh Nguyen says:

    September 10th, 2012 at 11:45 pm

    I agree with you about having a good QC system in place with sourcing in China. It is critical to have a contingency plan as part of QC. My colleague actually wrote a great article discussing in more detail quality control inspection and listed some helpful tips you can check out. Read the full article here: http://www.chinaperformancegroup.com/2012/08/3-general-tips-on-china-quality-control-inspections/