Letter from China: Gaining Experience

Paul Wray, Managing Director of Furntec Ltd and Modern Outlook Furniture, shares an insight into his experience of dealing with furniture suppliers in China.

Paul Wray

Having been working with many furniture suppliers over the last 25 years in China, it has been the biggest challenge for me, having to deal with all the different hurdles you have to face day in and day out.

I am asked frequently, how easy is it to buy furniture from China? My answer to that question is, “yes its fairly straight forward as there are thousands of furniture manufacturers here who are more than willing to supply you”, but there are many things to consider before you even attempt to place an order.

Over the last few years, China had closed its borders to the outside world due to the Covid virus. This meant many overseas buyers having to do their business online and not being able to visit to see the supplier and their furniture being made. In my experience with many furniture suppliers here in China, a potential time bomb waiting to happen.

With all the factories here in China that manufacture for me, it is imperative that you or your team are able to be at the factories when producing your product. Even the best factories still need to be kept an eye on when it comes to Quality Control. All it takes is one part to go wrong in the process, and you could end up with a container or containers of product that you cannot sell. A very expensive problem to have. 

Another issue is, are you dealing directly with the factory or are you dealing with a trader who may have no experience in furniture? It is easy to set up a website to say you have a factory here in China and you can manufacture furniture, but in reality, they are waiting for you to place an order and they will then themselves find a factory that can produce for you which you will not know the quality of the goods being made. Even worse, they will not know the quality standard you require.

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?

Unfortunately, the list can go on and on with potential issues you can face in China by having your furniture produced here. Please don’t get me wrong, China is amazing for the furniture products it can produce, you just have to be mindful and my advice is to make sure you always have someone professional on the ground here at factories you are buying from, to make sure the quality and safety of your product is always applied.

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!

paulw@modernoutlook.cn

www.linkedin.com/in/paul-wray-79403935/

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