Sourcing In China – Change Management Must Be Part Of The Initiative


More and more Western company leaders opt to start sourcing goods from China and take advantage of its low cost production costs. But we view a lot of those China sourcing initiatives without a powerful change-management section: They usually under estimate the time and efforts required to explain, train, establish and convince employees to shift to Chinese providers.

The change is extreme In Deed: Purchasing, Quality, Engineering, Logistics, Design divisions organized their work around the relations together with their”conventional” suppliers. The shift in”local sourcing” on this particular traditional supply base to”far sourcing” with new suppliers in China will radically affect the way they function:

Firstly, china sourcing company the Design Department must integrate new technological and economic limitations in the design of another generation of products. The 3 Important principles would be:

-1 Components with high additional value and sub assemblies are those bringing the best cost advantages when got in China.

-2 Generation processes in China will vary: Automatic production is replaced by a variety of manual actions. It reduces capital investment and cost, increases production flexibility however tolerances are not as excellent for an automated process.

-3 Parts with critical Intellectual Property shall be kept out China.

Second, the Engineering Department was able to rely in their conventional providers’ superior engineering capabilities, expertise and capability to innovate. Changing to a supplier that experience is not as Great means:

1- more work: New technical validations and support to the Chinese providers

Two – Research: Thorough checks of safety standards

Ironically, at the Logistics Department, employees might need to start setting-up new leaks coming from China and adapt to a new group of fundamentals. Long transfer time may be a fresh restriction. Factory logistics teams deal with hundreds of issues every time, and new limitations are not welcome. For example, daily deliveries in returnable boxes are not an option once the fabricating mill is 10,000 kilometers away. The shipping cycle is obviously too much time and also the investment inboxes are overly large. But if this may be preferred delivery system, then the Logistics Department might need to alter its customs and accommodate to new objectives.

The Quality of those purchased parts usedto be subcontracted into the suppliers: Quality objectives are comprised at the purchasing contracts and defective parts are sent back to where they originate from. The buyers do not have anything todo with the superior management of their providers. This process does not assist much sourcing. Waiting to find these parts to be brought to look at their caliber will be overly costly and risky. It will take some time and funds, but buyers don’t have any choice except to re take control of the quality management.

“You get what you inspect, not what you expect”.

For illustration, Shanghai General Motors has developed a military of high level Supplier Quality (ASQs) engineers, travel 4 days per week for their own suppliers’ factories. Their role is to directly and constantly manage quality development strategies.

Nonetheless to get a Western company without a passionate company based anyplace, managing supplier’s Quality on a regular basis can become debatable: Many of our clients come to us to solve Quality problems. Out sourced in-factory quality control and pre-delivery reviews is a frequent solution.

At length, directly on the battle front, in the Purchasing Department, the buyers must adapt their negotiation style and attitude.

One cannot go competitive on price reduction targets to Chinese suppliers without giving anything in return. It is not merely because of the Chinese business culture (you need to turn into good friends before signing a deal). If the outcome of the negotiation is not just a win win deal, the Chinese supplier might begin finding ways to decrease his production costs and recover his margin: Swap raw-material into cheaper ones or subcontract to another firm. An unprofitable bargain for your own supplier usually impacts the quality of the parts.

If confrontation infrequently works, a reassuring attitude towards a Chinese supplier generally pays off. Give practical advices, deliver assignments that are simple, and show your support where it’s needed: Providers could keep a positive attitude, which brings mutual gains.

This really is the founding idea of Supplier Development: A Supplier Development project usually starts once the owner of a Chinese company accepts the active service of his prospective client over a time period and participates his company in the execution of most the most useful techniques attracted to him along with his staff. Inturn, the buyer produces a tailormade production centre for its parts, and also a loyal supplier. After six months of yearly visits and workshops with an different departments, the Chinese mill dramatically enriches and the production starts. This is certainly a large time and effort investment, however it pays in sustainable cost advantage. Success stories such as BOSCH’s or VALEO’s tend to prove this is a fantastic means to do Industrial Sourcing in China.

These changes will work only if they happen concomitantly and because the China sourcing job produces progress. This kind of challenge has to be addressed using a company-wide change-management project.