How to Efficiently Visit and Inspect Factories in China?

In order to make your visit to factories in China that make your products efficient and fruitful, you need to have a thorough knowledge of the exact processes that the factory in China is using to make your products when you visit them.

The reason the visit is important is that many factories outsource some of the manufacturing processes to other smaller factories nearby. Unless you are familiar with all the processes your factory does to produce your products when you visit them, you may not be able to discern whether or not they are outsourcing part of the processes to other smaller factories in China.

The reason why outsourcing may not be good for you is that you cannot ensure the quality standards of the smaller factory. Moreover, your contract would only specify the quality standards of operations in the factory you are directly dealing with. When they outsource part of the work to other smaller factories in China, the quality standards of those factories cannot be controlled through your contract. Therefore, the quality of your products cannot be guaranteed. So outsourcing of processes by the factory that you are in direct contact with should be totally avoided or minimized at best in order to maintain quality as much as possible.

Unless you personally visit the factory and look for signs of outsourcing, you may not be able discover whether or not your factory is outsourcing some of its production processes to other smaller factories in China. There are a number of reasons why they might outsource their work.

- They might be able to save money since the smaller factory might accept lower prices 
- They might temporarily face a shortage in production capacity due to various reasons 
- If the other factories in China are run by a friend or relative, they might want to do them a favor by giving them business 
- They might want to cover up violations on labor rights 
- They may not have certain equipment for spray painting or injection molding and hence would need to outsource those production processes

While outsourcing in itself is not a problem, the real issue crops up when the quality standards of the smaller factory is much lower than the main factory where your products are manufactured. As more player come into the production process, maintaining quality standards might become a difficult task. When you visit the factories in China, you need to tactfully find out whether other smaller factories in China are involved in manufacturing your products and need to know how to eliminate the practice or at least ensure that quality standards are maintained as per your specifications.

Who we are: Ltd is a French/American managed company based in Hong Kong and specialised in sourcing and trading in an international context.

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