China vendor technology – what to look for

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Vendors love show off their latest equipment from Germany or Japan. Of course the more advanced your vendor’s equipment the better for you, until you consider that imported equipment costs much more to repair than local equipment and parts may take long to order. So you should ask your vendor what they do if they have a problem with a machine ? Can they get parts locally or do they need to get them from overseas ? And always ask them to demonstrate the machines for you. Just because they have fancy, state of the art equipment in full view does not mean it works. I have been in many factories where critical production equipment was broken or in a state of disuse. And I remember one printing mill in Shanghai that bought an expensive piece of machinery from Germany but didn’t know how to use it. So it just sat there ( for years I presume).

When you visit a factory it is always a good idea also to look at the office in the factory to see how the vendor is set up for communication. Do they have just one computer in the office or are there a few ? Are they new computers ? Good brands ? Is there a scanner ? Fax machines ? Telephones ? In short, pay attention to this because communication is so important when you do an order in China.

Finally, always make sure to ask your vendor about back-up power supply. Does the vendor have a generator on site? Power outages are a commonplace in China, esp in the summer. So you want to make sure your vendor is prepared for them.

Just a short list of things to look for when you visit a factory in China.

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