Steve the business savvy sparky.
Alexandra had spent several years in Shanghai working in a company secretary role for an engineering company. During this time, she became friends with a few of the expats that worked for Found Limited and the proprietor of a company that provided small furnishing items to Walmart. Alexandra often discussed the China export business with her fellow expat friends and heard all about the many trials and tribulations of this business field.
Christmas is coming….it is pay day for Laura and Andrew.
Laura and Andrew and several other Found Licensees every year take advantage of Christmas. They know that in their home country, the USA, there will be close to $1trillion spent on Christmas gifts. They say they are farmers that have one harvest per year. Last year they sold two products “fly camera” and “Darth Vader illuminated swords”. This year they are going for a very simple small drone…ones that don’t require a License.
Laura and Andrew’s business model is simple:
Tito the Tiler.
Tito had been a tiler since he was 14 years old when he left school in grade 9 to start working with his father, Stefanos. Tito had worked for many of the builders in western Sydney over a long period of time and had developed skills and knowledge in laying marble on floors and walls. After 30 years of hard work Tito’s back started to give him pain and he had to spend most of his weekends recouping in preparation for another hard week of laying marble.
Brian - Electrical Contractor
Brian secured a contract to replace the existing metal halide lighting with LED lighting in 247 storage warehouses across several Australian states. Brian used Found Ltd to source lighting in China that was compliant to Australian standards. Found Ltd provided all quality control, logistics and transaction management. Brian’s outcome was a 47% saving on what he had allowed in lighting costs. Brian also now imports LED lighting for resale to other electrical contractors.
Last week we had Dragon boat festival here in China, I didn't see a single boat in Shanghai. There was enough rain water for boating in most places - so let's hope they were there somewhere. This week has seen the humidty set in - "real" summer has arrived. Anyway enough about the weather! Today we are looking at the following:
It's likely you have heard someone say sourcing from China is soooo easy these days you just go on Alibaba, do a quick search and there you go 1,000 suppliers, job done in 5 seconds flat. It's dangerous in any field to believe you know it all or think that everything is going to be easy. The reality is Alibaba hasn't really changed in 12 years. You could still search just as efficiently then and come up with as many results. The only thing that has changed is now some companies have been on there for a number of years - does this make any difference to how you should treat quality control?
Whether it's yourself, a colleague or a 3rd party sourcing company that conducts your China Factory Audits - it's an operation that simply needs to be done at some point. Keeping costs down is a wonderful thing put we need to be mindful not to squeeze to tight in this area - it's really about managing your risk. China factory visits can be really great, really difficult, can be very interesting and can even be a bit shocking. You are certain to have experiences to conjure lots of different adjectives, boring is unlikely to be one of them no matter how many visits you make.
A good chunk of your time needs to be invested in analyzing the information that you gather from suppliers in China. Sourcing from China and assessing Chinese suppliers is time consuming full stop. It's even more so if you are not organized. Today let's talk about how you can be a bit more organized in this area.