It’s the return of buyer diary! A series of blogs that help you understand the processes a buyer goes through when manufacturing products in China or Vietnam. We recently conducted a factory visit to a factory that produce a range of wooden furniture for hotels all over the world. The purpose of this factory visit was to provide an audit for one of our clients.
This is one of the most important parts of our business, especially when producing complex bespoke products. We do this to ensure a factory can provide exactly what our clients are looking for and that it is to a high enough standard. We also ask the factory to explain to us each stage of the manufacturing process so we can provide a detailed account to our client. During the course of our visits we carry out a variety of quality control (QC) checks. You can read more about them here:
The factories we have visited in the past have produced a huge variety of different products. The processes used to make these products differ massively between each one. Some are mostly machine focused, whilst others have vastly hand made components. In this blog we will explore the specific processes used in the factory we visited to produce their wooden furniture. Here at the ODM group, we specialise in promotional products. However, we also act as buying agents for a large variety of companies that are looking to produce their goods in China.
The interesting thing about this factory, is the way it’s laid out. It’s spread across 8 floors, and each floor has its own operation.
Stages Of Production
The panel workshop is where all of the large flat pieces of wood are cut to size. Panel wood is used when building a multitude of different products such as wardrobes, doors and tables. In the video below we can see one factory worker cutting the panels to size and ensuring they are correct using a tape measure.
On floor two they have the solid wood workshop. Furniture is seen to be more premium if it is made from solid wood, as it is of a higher quality. The video below shows a factory worker putting the finishing touches to a piece of Ash wood, used for making the backing of a chair.
The third floor is the assembly workshop. Here the wood that has been cut to size on the previous floor is put together. They are hand assembled using electric screwdrivers.
The fourth floor is where they are putting the finishing touches together for the chair they are currently producing. You can see from the image that they work with a photo of the chair to ensure it is being produced correctly. This ensures quality.
The showroom; this floor exhibits some of the factories work in order to showcase their quality to prospective clients. This showroom was especially impressive as they had fully kitted out hotel rooms that had been manufactured in the factory itself.
The sixth floor is home to much of the company’s storage. Here, the items that have been completed are kept until they are loaded for delivery.
The 7th floor is home to the polish workshop. Here all of the furniture that requires polishing is treated. Polishing is used in order to achieve enhanced resistance to moisture and other things in the environment that could damage the wood. It can also help with the aesthetic appeal. This factory was using a urethane finish. The factory workers use safety masks in order to protect themselves against the chemicals being used.
This is the painting workshop. The setup is similar to the polishing workshop. The workers use electric paint sprayers and the same protective gear.
How We Can Help
Our team has over 20 years’ experience of sourcing products in China. We are able to offer a wide range of services. From conducting QC’s such as the one outlined in this blog, to brainstorming and sourcing for you of your next project. We oversee the whole buying process for you so you can have peace of mind and can get on with running your business!
More about buyer Diaries
Buyer Diaries is a series of blogs that ODM have been creating since 2012. They provide an insight into what it’s like to be a buyer of goods produced in China and Vietnam. They are extremely helpful for anyone looking to purchase goods in these countries. Many are from the perspective of our clients, and others such as this one, are from ODM staff members. Let’s take a look back at our first ever buyer diaries blog. It’s an intriguing look into the culture of business in China.
Negotiations are an extremely important part of sourcing products in China. They must be done in order to ensure that you are getting the best deal on products. Many member of ODM are native Chinese speakers who are highly experienced in negotiating with factories. Read about the manufacturing process in this buyer diary.
When sourcing for products in China, a number of different manufacturing terms come up. These can sometimes be confusing for people if they have not manufactured products before. This handy list will help you with some of the jargon.
If you continue to manufacture products, you are bound to encounter a problem. There are a wide variety of issues that can arise during the production phase. Read about what they could be, and how factories can work to overcome them in this buyer diary.