We asked one of our clients to give us their impressions at a China factory visit during procurement recently. Read below to get an idea of how they felt during this trip regarding the manufacturing problems faced. This is one of a series of blogs that we will title: Buyer Diary.

When embarking on a China Factory Visit, do expect to encounter certain manufacturing problems, especially with unprofessional factories.  These manufacturing problems can be highly detrimental towards production. For example, there could be production lag or a poor quality production.

Common Manufacturing Problems

On Buyer Diary #15 Manufacturing Problems, we have explained several common manufacturing problems faced. In this entry, we will propose to you feasible solutions to tackle these manufacturing problems. There is no perfect solution, rather choose the best fit solution for yourself and your company.


Power Failure

Investing in a power generator

Purchasing a power generator can be a huge investment, especially for small factories. Factories that face power failure occasionally are usually those located in remote areas such as villages. All the more these factories will not have the resources to invest in one.

Moreover, a power generator may not be that useful as well, depending on the situation. It is just not economical to purchase one, if it is going to be sitting around most of the time. We would suggest only to purchase power generators when it is absolutely necessary. Schedule manufacturing duties according to power failure conditions

Schedule manufacturing duties according to power failure conditions

Well, sometimes power failures are pre-scheduled to do some maintenance on the systems. The most logical way to turn this around is to plan the manufacturing schedule around the power failure timings, such that it does not create a potential delay in the manufacturing.

Manufacture early to avoid potential delays

The most effective and economical solution to cope with power failures is to manufacture early! As early as possible, that’s what they always say!


Insufficient Storage Space

Rent a warehouse nearby

As easy as it seems, it might be tough to rent a warehouse nearby at the very last minute, unless you’re lucky.

Arrange storage carefully

Alternatively, it is to make full use of the entire available space in the factory. Factory managers must plan this wisely – What items can be stored? Which ones can be sent to clients already? So on and so forth. Although it seems like a hassle, but it is the best alternative option.

Take into consideration manufacturing and shipping

Thinking deeper into this matter, factory can make sure there is good synchronization between the pace of which goods are manufactured and the periods which goods are shipped out. It is best to have it at a constant similar pace whereby it achieves 3 main goals.

  • The goods are manufactured on time
  • The goods are delivered on time
  • There is sufficient storage space


Manufacturing Problems - Insufficient Storage Space

Manufacturing Problems – Insufficient Storage Space

Inconvenient Factory Location

Best to move to a convenient location

Needless to say, this seems to be the most obvious and effective solution. Things does not always go our way though. Besides, there is no way a factory will want to move its base just for an order.

Have a factory driver to bring you around

For safety and convenience, always have a factory driver to bring you around. This saves time for your business trips, avoiding all the potential chances of getting lost and having to pay more money for the cab fare etc.

Have someone from the factory to lead vehicles in (e.g. leading the freight containers to the warehouse for transportation)

This is highly important, especially for shipping arrangements. At times when the freight containers are coming in to get the goods to load it up the port, it is advisable for someone to guide the freight containers in.


Increasing Prices

Sign valid contracts with the factory

Sign contracts with the factories that are binding in the eyes of the law. When it is needed, companies can go into arbitration with these factories and claim back the losses.

Be serious, strict and professional with the factory

Do not be a pushover

Factories will take advantage of you time and again if the company just abides accordingly. How would you know if factories are taking advantage of your company resources? Our advice is to hire professionals to handle the factories on your behalf. Cost may be an issue, but bear in mind – we pay to play safe.


“Get it over and done with” Mentality

Quality Control

Quality Control is a measure of the goods, whether it is of an acceptable standard or not, just like passing a math test. To deal with factories with the “Get it over and done with” mentality, it is best to hire an external quality control agency to perform quality control on the goods.

Quality control is usually when production is coming to an end, or sometimes at the end of production as mentioned in China Factory Visit – Buyer Diary #11 Coming to End of Production. It is always advisable to manufacture goods early and arrange for early quality control to rectify problems immediately. Read more at China Factory Visit – Buyer Diary #2 Do’s.

Have continuous orders with the same factory

Factories will definitely take you seriously once you have many orders with them. One way to do this is to make sure that these factories understand that there is a potential order coming up, and they cannot afford to lose the next order because of a badly done job for the current one.

Have people at the scene to manage the factory

Another solution to curb this manufacturing problem is to have your very own employee in the factory to manage the production and ensure that all goods are in good quality. Easier said than done, the employee must then have the relevant knowledge and skills to do so! And honestly, the best way to gain these knowledge is to speak to our professionals at ODM!