Time waits for...
It is important to time and plan your orders right. If you place an order too late you may find yourself at the back of the queue for production and delivery and therefore miss your intended delivery date.
Seasonal items are a perfect example of this. Many Chinese factories don’t carry stock in anticipation of upcoming orders. They work on an order by order basis. This means that if you order too late, there may be a long queue of pending orders for production in front of you. This can seriously affect your intended delivery to market dates. In this case the old adage is true, ‘If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.
If it is a new product you intend on purchasing it’s advisable to start the research and product development as early as possible to give you enough time to make sure you have the product you need without any unwanted order urgency. This is especially true when talking about viewing and approving product samples. This is a vital step in any new product ordering and time involved can vary drastically depending on the item and factory. It is also important to consider the time and expense involved in delivering your sample from the factory to your country.
As a guideline, we would suggest for new products starting the search at least 1-2 months before you want to order them. If you are not sure when the peak production times for these items are, think about when your market needs them and deduct 3-4 months off that date.
A supporting guideline to remember is that it usually takes a normal factory 30-60 days to produce orders and another 30 days for transport. If you add in customs and further potential delivery issues, you can allow for a sensible total of 120 days from your order date before your products are ready to be distributed and sold.
There are likely many Chinese factories that can produce your item and their products will be of varying quality. However, if it is peak production time you may be tempted to go with a cheaper/smaller factory in China who promises a swifter delivery time. Make sure you check the quality of their facility and product. You can save time and money during this process by hiring a 3rd party manufacturing and QC consultancy to act on your behalf to ensure that your products will be produced to the standard you need and with the right factory.
A 3rd party manufacturing and QC consultancy company on the ground in China can also aid you to negotiate with a larger factory that has initially stated that they are too busy to deal with your order or they can find a factory of a similar quality that can do so. If there is a delivery date that must be met, they can also act on your behalf to pressure the factory on a daily basis to meet it.
It’s important to consider these points because when you need to reorder your item, you can know when to do this and be able to easily put this cost and time into your annual budget and plan. All the above can give your company better structure and smoother delivery to market for all your products.