Thursday, November 09, 2006

Four Things You Need to Know About Manufacturing in Asia

A post from Ashton Udall, our resident expert on global sourcing.

Four Things You Need to Know About Manufacturing in Asia
By Ashton Udall

Asia has become a hot topic amongst small businesses and inventors who want to benefit from the tremendous cost-savings there. But, before newcomers to the Asian manufacturing and business environment jump in, we recommend that you understand some crucial issues and strategies to manufacture your products abroad successfully.

Be prepared to face communication barriers in language, culture, time differences, and distance. Many problems arise from misunderstandings about requirements and expectations. Effective cross-cultural communication is critical to success, so find someone you can communicate well with.

Many have rushed into the sourcing process and failed because they did not spend sufficient time to find the right partners and take the right steps to control the process. Invest more time up-front to make sure these things are in place before you begin manufacturing, and continually verify that you are receiving the results you require. Leaving nothing up to chance will help you will avoid costly problems later.

When you begin sourcing, finding suppliers with low costs will typically not be difficult. It is finding suppliers that can provide high-quality product that will be the biggest variable in your success. Inspect a factory’s quality by visiting the manufacturer, seeing samples of their work, and establishing strong quality control processes to ensure you get what you asked for.

Finally, find someone on the ground in Asia who you can trust to look out for your best interests. You or someone you trust must routinely verify that the process is going according to plan and small problems are fixed before they become major issues. Whether this is you or a service provider, this is one of the best strategies in reducing the risks and maximizing the rewards of sourcing your product abroad.

To learn more about sourcing your products overseas, contact Ashton Udall at Global Sourcing Specialists, www.globalsourcingspecialists.com, AUdall@globalsourcingspecialists.com (415) 359-8115.

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