US China Relations

 

US Ambassador Jon Huntsman’s speech at Tsinghua University reminds us about the positive aspects of US-China relations. An excerpt;

“So this year could be the most important in the history of our bilateral relationship. As an optimist, I believe the test will be how we take our relationship to a new level of cooperation and make real progress in resolving the pressing global issues that we face today.”

Steel Prices to Gain on Low Inventories, Costs, Baoshan Says Steelmakers will raise prices globally as they run down inventories and raw material costs gain, according to Baoshan Iron & Steel Co., China’s largest publicly traded mill.

“There’s momentum for prices to go up,” Yao Lili, an executive with the Shanghai-based company’s raw materials purchasing department, said in an interview in Hong Kong. “Inventories globally are generally quite low.”

Orders for Baoshan Steel, Posco and rivals are picking up as the global economic recovery accelerates, spurring a 55 percent gain in the costs of coal as steelmakers compete for supplies. Steel prices rose 9.1 percent in February int he U.S., and Chinese mills are charging 10 percent more since the start of this year.

“Demand growth from the home appliance makers may be stronger in 2010 than from automakers,” said Yao. “There’s a lot of potential from home appliance makers.”

Total vehicle sales in China jumped46 percent last year, fueled by the government’s stimulus spending and tax breaks. Sales may rise more than 10 percent this year, the Ministry of Commerce said Jan 29.

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EXPO 2010 – Shanghai

Throughout the history of world expositions, the themes have always exemplified global progress, the contemporary spirit of each epoch and the challenges facing the world as it moves toward the future. The World Expo brings the whole world together to look into the future. Although the various world expos have taken their themes from an array of issues, including industry, information, civilization, science, technology, culture, art, education, transport, sports, ecology, environment and resources, what has always remained common is a spotlight on mankind, cities and nature. This is also the origin of the theme of World Expo 2010 Shanghai, China – “Better City, Better Life” – which points to two essential aspects of our future. This theme involves the relationship between people and cities, mankind and nature. World Expo 2010 Shanghai China will showcase the challenges facing human societies in this age of urbanization.

Copy of Shanghai Holiday 059

Greek philosopher Aristotle once said: People come to cities for life, and live there for a better one.” His wisdom best interprets the theme of World Expo 2010 Shanghai China. If we want to make our lives better, we first have to make our cities better. Cities represent the essence of human civilization. It is no coincidence that the equivalent of “civilization” in many Western languages has its origin in the Latin word “civitas,” which means “city.” The pursuit of World Expo 2010 Shanghai China for the ideal city of the future is embodied in the concept of the “city of harmony.” The notion of “harmony” is an old one in Chinese culture, advocating peaceful coexistence between mankind and nature, between body and soul, between individual and individual. The United Nations Human Settlements Program stated in its 1996 Istanbul Declaration: “Our cities must be places where human beings lead fulfilling lives in dignity, good health, safety, happiness and hope.” That underscores the ideas behind the theme of World Expo 2010 Shanghai China.

 

Duration: May 1 to Oct 31, 2010

Expected Visitors: 70 Million

Expected Participants: 200

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New Product Development and The Adaptation Curve Part I

In our four part series New Product Development and the Adaptation Curve dedicated to new product developers, innovators and inventors, we explore the Top 8 considerations when developing a new product.  Whether a seasoned marketing professional or first timer, these 8 critical components include aspects related to product design, positioning, manufacturing, and distribution.

Product Development Costs 

Most inventors underestimate the cost for designing a manufacturing ready product.  Tools and molds can easily run into the five to six figure range and can dwarf first year profits.  Most any product requires both two dimensional (2D) and three dimensional (3D) engineering drawings that specify material requirements, accurate measurements and tolerances which are very minute, allowable thresholds or variances in gaps, thickness, or practical limits without significantly affecting function of a component.  These are the physical requirements of a product. There are also electromechanical tolerances which measure allowable ranges of energy output or resistance.

2D & 3D drawings are computer generated or Computer Aided Designs (CAD) are then used for creating the tooling for parts whether metal, plastic or other materials, even cut and sew projects.  The first commercial applications were in the automotive and aerospace industries.  Through the use of some of the most common software such as Solidworks and AutoCAD, two of the more widely used platforms, designers create the physical properties of a product.  Depending on the complexity of the part and the actual quantity of components this cost can range from the low to tens of thousands of dollars.

Distribution Channels

Some products are ideal for Big Box retail but unless you know how to navigate this space, most category managers are not going to take a chance with a single line item vendor.  Determining how to sell your product comes down to the “4-P’s” or Product, Promotion, Price and Placement.  Entire marketing strategies are built around this.  How you position your product will dictate your brand strategy.  From there it is necessary to determine price, sales tactics and a marketing campaign and budget.

Products are sold through single or multiple channels.  Often and most overlooked by new product developers is the benefit of working through wholesale/distributor channels.  These organizations have years of traction and relationships with retailers and can be the best avenues for introducing your product.  They have sales teams in place and assumedly the category expertise for not only implementing your programs but also helping positioning and building your brand.  Your distributor is your customer and investing the time to work with and support this resource will pay off tenfold.

Think about all the valued functions that are fulfilled by a strong distributor partner.  They have the infrastructure in place that includes:

  • Sales: category expertise and feedback
  • Warehousing; the ability to handle large single shipments
  • Customer service and support— activity based interface with multiple customers
  • Inventory reporting; purchasing and replenishment
  • Shipping and logistics

Read Part II of New Product Development