This business podcast, in the words of Mr. Harry Hughes, CEO of PortWest, tells us about sourcing in China. China is vying with the United States for the title of world’s largest economy. It has been the fastest growing major economy during the past thirty years. Its enormous size with over 1.3 billion people gives it massive economies of scale. This coupled with a culture that is inherently industrious makes China attractive to Western companies looking for competitive locations to source manufactured goods. The Pearl River Delta region north of Hong Kong is now widely known as the ‘Workshop of the World.’ Most people are familiar with China’s increasing role in world and economic affairs, but have little practical experience of direct engagement with China.
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Mr. Harry Hughes, CEO of PortWest shares some of his insights after years of experience sourcing directly from China.
“They think business is complicated. business is the simplest thing you do.”
Harry Hughes began his talk by reassuring participants that buying in China is no different than buying in the UK or Germany. From his many years of doing business in China, Harry has found the Chinese to be honest and trustworthy counterparts.
In his experience, when things go wrong it tends to be because of mistakes and incompetence rather than short cuts. He feels that a good specification and master sample resolves 99% of potential errors – A detailed specification is a must.
“A good specification and a master sample resolves 99% of errors.”
There are mainly two types of suppliers, direct from a factory or via an agent.
According to Harry, a good place to start when looking to source from China is Alibabba.com as factories rarely have a website and instead use this website. Harry offers some tips on engaging a potential supplier once a connection is made including what to look out for, and the right questions to ask. He then discusses the practicalities of arranging production and facilitating payment. Harry also covers groupage, logistics, importation and customs.
Kuhne & Nagel Ireland