What do you think Americans would find most surprising about the factories you worked with in China?
In my book, I show how Chinese manufacturers and American importing companies are often in conflict. Many people presume that there is a great deal of cooperation involved between the companies that make our products and those bringing them into the country. What consumers don’t understand is the related struggle. Chinese supplies want to save money by reducing specifications, and American companies are trying to fight for higher levels of quality at reasonable prices. The customer may always be right, but quality failures often are the result of a relationship imbalance and asymmetrical information. Manufacturing companies that produce a substandard product often know what the problem is with their product, but they don’t provide much of a hint to their customers. This means that importing companies have to guess at where corners may have been cut.
It’s a dangerous situation for all of us to be in, actually.
Explaining China’s Quality Control Problems
(A book by Kimberley Palmer)
Why so many Chinese Products are born to be bad
THE recent scandals about poisoned baby milk, contaminated pet food and dangerous toys from China have raised questions about manufacturing standards in the country that has become factory to the world. In China’s defence, it was probably inevitable that as production grew so would the problems associated with it, at least in the short term. Similarly, it could be argued that China is going through the same quality cycle that occurred during Japan’s post-war development or America’s manufacturing boom in the late 19th century— but in an environment with infinitely more scrutiny.
….It would be unfair, of course, to see all Chinese companies in this light. A few are gaining international recognition for quality, but in contrast, say, to Japan or America, this recognition comes at a cost to the firms themselves because it is accompanied by unpopular scrutiny and compliance.
Quality Issues and Concerns in China
Many businesses new to operating in China, worry about quality issues in manufacturing their products there. Some of these worries may be for just cause, while are others are based upon unfounded rumor and hearsay. If you are acquiring a product from a local Chinese supplier, you have more reason for concern than if you set up your own manufacturing or assembly site. But China has a large infrastructure of part and component manufacturing. They have a complete array of quality production, from very poor to excellent companies following the highest quality manufacturing processes. The best firms are no strangers to MRP, Class A manufacturing and ISO registration.
In searching for quality part and component manufacturing you must examine their sites and processes, and do due diligence in verifying the prospective supplier meets the quality standard of your products.
“There is something very basic about manufacturing – value is added by taking raw materials and labor, and producing products that can be sold in high quantities, with quality, to generate good return on the investment. “
“..Labor skills and availability are important, but automation (available globally) reduces dependency on those factors. This brings the choice down to proximity to material sources, and/or proximity to markets, plus lowest cost with the best quality”
Let’s look at some facts about manufacturing in China today.
- Continually increasing manufacturing prowess
- Significant cost advantages (beyond just labor cost)
- Good, repetitive quality
Read extracts from his new book, “Automation Unplugged” at :http://www.jimpinto.com/writings/