Paul Wray, Managing Director of Furntec Ltd and Modern Outlook Furniture, shares another insight into his knowledge of the Chinese furniture landscape.
Navigating manufacturing in China can be a minefield if you have little or no experience in manufacturing abroad. As a Brit living in China, I work with many retailers across the UK, America and worldwide to ensure they are not tackling challenges alone.
The main challenges you might face include:
– Finding the right factory
– Language barriers
– Quality of work
– High MOQ’s
– Lead times
– Design & development
– And intellectual property risks
In China there are 50,000+ furniture manufacturers each with varying ethics and standards. I work incredibly hard to discover and vet new manufacturers. In addition to this, I spend a considerable amount of time maintaining relationships with existing manufacturers to ensure our clients receive quality product, on time and in full.
For me, it’s also very important to not only check what they are doing but to support them in their job. It can be very lonely when your based in a factory in the middle of nowhere for weeks quality controlling and checking product with no direct contact from the company. Support is always needed and trust me; you will always get the best from your staff when you show you actually care and take notice of what they do. Our teams undergo thorough training from our company and emphasis the BEST QUALITY must be achieved for each and every one of our customers, no matter how big or small.
I have heard many times that although the product looked great on a picture, when it arrived it sat like a concrete block and the materials used did not have the feel we needed. We now have a container/containers of product that will be very difficult to sell. My advice, buyers please visit your factories regularly to make sure you are getting products that are right for your market.
There are also many laws governed around the world when supplying furniture to certain countries. For example, when supplying the UK with products that will require UKFR regulations to be adhered to. Does the factory you are working with know these standards required? Many suppliers will say they do but they don’t. How do you know your product will be safe? Having local knowledge and feet on the ground offers extra assurance for your business.
Modern Outlook Furniture assists businesses of all sizes in procurement from China at any stage of your project. If you would like a no obligation conversation about how we can assist you and help you avoid any costly issues or nasty surprises, please do get in touch!