Chinese Outsourcing and Manufacturing Frequently Asked Questions
Here you can view some of our most frequently asked questions on all things Asia, Europe, and USA outsourcing and manufacturing solutions.
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ES&M operates by pulling together experienced professionals in the client’s industry sector. Whatever the requirement, be it product or component outsourcing, factory verification or manufacturing. Our goal is to accelerate your projects and deliver a World Class service tailored to your needs, whether that’s cost reductions, increasing bottom line or developing a new product, we will work alongside you to achieve uncompromising quality in all we do.
IP protection is one of the most worrisome aspects for all companies doing business in China and EM&S is help our clients protect it.
We work on a 4 Tier Strategy:
- Documentation & Relationship
Put formal documentation in place, though a good business relationship is often far more important and beneficial.
Ensure the following documents are used and signed.
- Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA) though preferably a Non-disclosure, Non-use and Non-circumvention Agreement (NNN)
- Tool Agreement – keep it simple & reference purchase orders & agreements
- Supplier Agreement
If sourcing an assembly, (rather than individual components), best practice is not to single source.
- Use several manufacturers, ideally in different locations, with the aim of preventing companies recognizing the finished product.
- Where possible use an assembly company to manufacture finished product, ideally one with no knowledge of your industry).
- Drawing Control
You need to own and control all drawings. Although you might have day to day access to the factory’s manufacturing drawings, you still need to check them for accuracy & tolerance. Reference their ownership in the supplier agreement.
Try not to pass design & drawing creation to the manufacturer, though sometimes it might be quicker and easier to do so. If you do, have clear statement referencing it in your formal documentation.
- Tool Ownership & Control
A separate tool agreement, defining ownership of the tool and its design is required. It should also include:
- Direct reference to purchase orders
- Payment terms
- Tool life
- Inspection & Maintenance responsibilities
- Modification & History
- Location & Storage (this might be different when the tools are not in use)
- How the tools are to be permanently identified
- Documentation & Relationship
IP is a significant asset so do not lose it. If you want help to reduce IP risk ES&M can help.
Many factories and third-party inspection companies in China rely on Quality Control, (QC), to deliver what they hope will be an acceptable level of quality. Unfortunately, it does not always work.
At ES&M we believe it to be more efficient, and cost beneficial, to start planning quality into the design so soon as possible We do this by using simple but effective systems and techniques, building quality into the product and process.
The Recommended Process:
- Review drawings, materials and production processes with the client; brainstorm ways to minimize poor quality.
- Share specifications & potential issues with manufacturer; identify suitable process / method as a 3-way team, (client, factory, ES&M); make necessary and acceptable changes.
- Identify jigs & fixtures to ensure and check part quality – (Poka Yoka).
- Train factory employees in simple but effective quality data collection techniques and implement.
- ES&M formally reviews the data, measuring and benchmarking production & quality efficiency.
- Persuade, (work with), the factory to demonstrate the achievable cost savings by reducing waste; rejects & rework and ultimately customer returns.
- Determine the Root Cause of quality problems, one by one.
- Resolve the problems.
- Save money and continuously improve efficiency, margin and quality.
- Delight the client by offering excellent quality and potentially year on year cost reductions.
In most cases ES&M finds it has to own and monitor the Quality Assurance, (QA), process, until the manufacturer appreciates and understands how consistent and stable processes deliver financial and competitive advantage, as well as excellent quality.
This might sounds simple but it is not. “Western” organisations fail to appreciate the need, techniques & benefits, which is why we offer the same service globally.
It’s difficult for a company at the other side of the world to monitor, implement and facilitate change and quality improvement, which is why we are here help. We allow you to concentrate on your core business while we look after your outsourcing needs.
We do! Elite Sourcing & Manufacturing have helped businesses achieve results across various different industries in their goals to oursouce manufacturing and production overseas. You can view ES&M case studies here.
Elite Sourcing & Manufacturing has decades of experience and an extensive network throughout Asia, Europe, and the USA. To get in touch you can call us on +44 (0)7770 820 998 (UK) or email us directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.