For years, companies attracted by the cheap costs and high volume have been shifting manufacturing to China. But set against a backdrop of Chinese inflation, the rising costs of global shipping and wage increase companies are beginning to look closer to home for manufacturing. So perhaps now, more than ever, it’s time to ask if manufacturing in China is the best options for your business. Below we’ve listed a number of key arguments against.
Finding a factory; research shows that the greatest issue people have when manufacturing in China is actually finding the right factory in the first place. This is due to several key reasons. Very few factories publish information on their websites in foreign languages, which isn’t only any issue when on the website, it also makes the websites very difficult for search engines to pick up. Any factory manufacturing products that are patented or have tight licensing agreements will be very guarded and finding small factories offering niche products / manufacturing methods
Communication; with export to Europe and North America making up such a huge chunk of the Chinese market you’ll be hard pressed to find a factory in China that cannot communicate in English, however, communication goes beyond language. The Chinese are very precise and literal and understanding the intricacies of a different culture is time consuming as it is necessary.
Stigma; in general consumers have a lower option of products made in China. This can be attributed to ethics, with China having notoriously poor working conditions and the actual quality of the goods. This of course is not always the case, but it’s very difficult to prove
Environmental Issues; In a study published in the journal Nature Climate Change, scientists from three universities show that products made in China are associated with significantly higher carbon dioxide emissions than the same products made elsewhere. These issues have been attributed to China’s antiquated manufacturing processes and reliance on coal.
Minimum Orders; Chinese factories work are far lower profit margins than those in Europe and North America, as a result, they are almost never able to accommodate one-offs and, in general their minimums are higher than other countries.
Shipping; The cost of shipping from a remote city in China, where the majority of factories are, versus the cost of shipping from somewhere in Europe or North America will be drastically different. Import taxes and duty cost will also have to be taken into consideration when working out the costs.
Economics and Politics; though seemingly unlikely economic and/or political unpredictability pose a high risk to businesses manufacturing in China. Not so long ago the Chinese government mandated that prices be raised by factories which had a huge impact on buyers.
Of course you can question our subjectivity on the matter as we are a company that proudly manufactures journals and notebooks in the UK offering all types of in house customisations such as debossing, foiling and printed pages. But we will leave that for you to decide