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How to increase your influence over China manufacturers: Part 1

Production Drawings and Samples

Every purchaser/buyer whether they are developing new or producing existing products should have a detailed set of drawings and samples of their product to ensure that no changes creep into it over time. We have all heard nightmare stories of manufacturers over a period substituting cheaper, lower quality components to increase their profit margin. A local eye on the materials used and manufacturing process will help to eliminate the chances of this happening to your product. Moving forward with your production partner, you need to be sure that the quality is maintained so your product’s integrity is never called into question.

We all know why the manufacturers will attempt to substitute components and elements of the product for substandard and cheaper parts. They do this as inflation rises in China, raw materials increase in price, local wages rise, tax increases and the only place where they can squeeze extra revenue and margin from is the products they produce. Having understood this it is most important that you are represented during production runs and your product guidelines and rules are fully adhered to.

Make sure you maintain control of all documentation at all times. When an SME finds a manufacturer to develop new products it is very tempting just to use the manufacturer’s designs (as seen on a trade show or factory/showroom visit) and to place your logo or label on it. This item is part of your brand now. You should request all details of the item including;

- Material type and specification

- Material samples

- Technical drawings, inc. tolerances and weights

- Notes on production

- Product samples

If you have this information, you will be better prepared and find it easier to source your items from other factories if the need arises. ISO9001:14001 states that all the above can and should be provided by the manufacturer so there is no reason not to have it. This is also a useful leverage tool. Knowing that you have relevant information, the supplier will be more incentivised to keep you happy.

For a free quotation and consultation, visit our official China sourcing and quality control website.

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