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Chinese Factories: Is your factory outsourcing your order?

On many occasions I have seen factories outsource total or part orders to other factories without the knowledge of their clients. As discussed in our previous article, is this an acceptable practice for you as the buyer?

If you have vetted a facility or had a factory approved for your organisation’s production, you most likely feel safe in the knowledge that your products will be manufactured there. You may believe you have a sense for the people involved in the manufacture of your product. However, if an order is outsourced to another facility without your knowledge, you have no idea of the people who are physically producing your order. The most important thing about the manufacture of your product is the knowledge that the people doing so know exactly what your requirements are. In your business, you manage the expectation of your clients so why shouldn’t your suppliers do the same?

We all know things get lost in translation and the more people involved in ‘Chinese Whispers’ the more chance your instructions will be misinterpreted. If you have received a final product that is very different to your production sample, there are high chances that an unknown element has been involved in the process. There are lots of clues that can tell you whether your supplier is outsourcing your order to another factory. The evidence is there to be discovered, you just need to know where to look, what to look for, and who to ask.

If you are curious as to whether this practice is occurring at one of your suppliers, it might be a good idea to get a 3rd party to investigate or at least use their expertise and experience to report to you what they think.

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