How To Find A Manufacturer in China
China has, over the last few decades, emerged as the top manufacturing base in the world, owing to the country’s cost advantages. Wholesalers, retailers, and small business owners gain a big cost advantage when they manufacture in China. The challenge is however to find a manufacturer best suited to one’s needs. Here are some options to locate potential manufacturers:
AliBaba.com and Other Online Portals
Think of manufacture in China, the first word that comes up is Ali Baba. Alibaba.com is the largest B2B ecommerce portal, and lists thousands of suppliers, besides offering valuable related information. There are other portals as well, such as GlobalSources.com and made-in-China.com that list thousands of suppliers and manufacturers cutting across categories.
While online portals offer a world of convenience and make it possible to source customised products from China without even leaving the home or office, quality control is a big challenge.
The Social media is a valuable source of information on manufacturing in China. However, the challenge is to identify credible information from the mass of information available. Professional LinkedIn groups such as China Sourcing, China Sourcing Forum, China Trade Group, China Sourcing Group and others are a good place to start. Social media allow buyers to filter through marketing hypes and get first-hand reports and recommendations from actual buyers who have dealt with the manufacturers.
The Canton Fair, held in October every year at Guangzhou, is one of the largest sourcing events in the world. The three week fair, held in three phases, with each phase dealing with different items, showcases literally all the products available in the world. Visitors would find vendors ready to manufacture literally anything, from tractors to diapers, and from tooth picks to saunas. The stalls allow the visitor to see samples and get a first hand idea of product quality. The cost, when manufactured in bulk could be as low as 90 percent discounted to the standard retail prices of the product, but the same product could be available in different prices, for varying quality levels.
The fair itself is too large and sure to overwhelm, so considerable background research is in order first. It pays to focus on the area pertaining to the products required, and set up factory visits with them one by one.
While Canton Fair is arguably the biggest and most popular trade fair, there are other trade fairs in China as well.
The Yiwu Fair, for instance, has established a niche for consumer products such as electronic and electrical appliances, knitwear, jewellery, sports and outdoor leisure products, and more. This fair, also held in October, is actually complementary to the Canton Fair.
The annual East China Fair at Shanghai is another popular fair that attracts visitors from across the world. There are several regional fairs across China as well.
Leads on potential Chinese manufacturers may also be available from many local sources, including the local industrial trade associations and Chamber of Commerce, recommendations from friends and networking groups who may already have a relationship with Chinese manufacturers, and others. Check for any international trade fairs in the region that has exhibitors from China as well.
Finding the right manufacturing partner, who is trustworthy, from the plethora of options available, and without investing a considerable sum upfront is a challenge. Strathclyde Design Services offer supply chain management services, and makes this challenging task very easy. Partner with Strathclyde Design Services and get the best of both worlds, access to low cost manufacturing without breaking a sweat to realise it.