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Dealing with Chinese Factories – Can they produce your entire order in-house?

Smaller Chinese factories commonly outsource orders that are too large or are stretching their capacity. These factories would generally not tell you this and so without proper representation on the ground you will most likely not know this.

The outsourced factory may be producing highly inferior quality to the standards that you thought you were getting, based on the initial provided samples. A factory may buy the whole order’s worth of raw materials and hire outsourced factories to fabricate it. There are a few reasons why they could be doing this – This may be as a cost saving measure. They may be trying to develop relationships or guanxi with another factory. They may not have the facilities in-house that they promised you. Or they may be bartering with your business to make use of additional factory facilities or machinery in the future.

Considering the above, ask yourself these questions:
- Is it important to know that the factory/supplier you are buying your products from manufacture your order elsewhere?

- Is it ok that your products are being made in a place you haven’t been told about or inspected before?

- If outsourced facilities seem to make the same quality products as per your order, does that make it ok that your products are being assembled in unknown locations?

- If completed order arrives at your destination and there is a marked difference in quality from your expectation that hasn’t been properly explained, the root cause could be an outsourced factory. Would your supplier tell you this? Wouldn’t you want to know this information?

If any of the answers to the above questions make you feel uncertain about the standards of your production in China, having a 3rd party representative on the ground can assist you. Inspecting the factory and the above aspects can help you get a firmer idea of what is really going on, allowing you to make more informed decisions.
Visit the official ETP website for more information on sourcing products in China.

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