Production Management in China is our core business at ODM and here we discuss the timelines that guide order flow. Here’s a chronological overview of what happens and what needs to happen….
ODM generally receive enquiries from clients and need between 1 day to 1 week to get costs out to clients. This depends on the product complexity and design requirements.
Sampling is critical. Functional samples mean taking existing samples from factories or from our showrooms. Want a handheld mirror or non woven – we will just pull from our storerooms. If you want something more random like a garden gnome with an angry pose you might need to wait for 1 week.
Custom samples take longer and this can mean delaying production schedules. For this reason ODM have team of Mindsparkz Graphic Designers who can sketch out your concepts.
For complex new product development, we recommend sketching out the idea, arranging CAD drawings and prototyping in China (new anchor).
Sample approval needs to be arranged with brand managers. Physical or Digital proofs.
Murphys Law & China
Whatever can go wrong will go wrong. Assume this as a starting point and work with this in mind from day 1. ODM uses partner factories and stringent quality control to make sure factories in China stay on track.
IPC Quality Control: In-Process Controls (IPC) are checks that are carried out before the manufacturing process is completed. The function of in-process controls is monitoring and – if necessary – adaptation of the manufacturing process in order to comply with the specifications. This may include control of equipment and environment, too. IPC materials should be tested for identity, strength, quality and purity as appropriate and approved or rejected by the Quality Control unit during the production process.
Common Production time lines:
Sampling time – the time required for a single run of sampling, if the sample is rejected, then factory’s will need to create a new sample which will take the same time or slightly less depending on requested changes. If the product is OEM then we will first go into moulding and prototyping. These can be from anywhere for a few days to more than 2 weeks.
Mass production: After approval of the sample we can proceed with mass production. From the original quotation the “Quantity”, “Sales price US$ / pc.”, “Packing & Export Carton Dimension / GW”, “Production time” and “Incoterm” all come into play during mass production and the shipping process. The Mass Production time can be from a few weeks to a few months, this all depends on quantity and complexity of the products.
FRI Quality Control: Final Random Inspections (FRI) are checks that are carried out at the end of production. The whole shipment quantity should be completed and available for sampling. Packing should be finished so the cartons can be counted. Three types of issues can cause the failure of the inspection, and potentially the refusal of the shipment by the purchaser: Conformity to specs/Number of visual defects/On-site tests.
A final random inspection usually takes place in the manufacturer’s factory, performed before the goods are sent out of the factory.
If things go wrong it is best to catch it early on in the order process, but there can be some last minute issues…
Holidays in China
Most famous in China there are 2 huge Golden Weeks holidays: The Chinese National Day holiday 国庆节 falls between the 1st and 7th October, marking the anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China on 1st October 1949. The other being the Spring Festival 春节, which marks the Chinese New Year.
Check out this blog showing a general idea of freight shipping times for sending containers from China. Consider air shipments for urgent or small shipping quantities, but for larger orders it is better for the environment and your pocket to plan in advance and go slow..