One of the greatest perceived disadvantages of Chinese based manufacturing firms is the lack of having a U.S. contact who is knowledgeable about and engaged in your business.
Our firm, with its intimate understanding of China is based in the U.S. with a China based operating staff. Things can and do go wrong and having the peace of mind that you have a contact in the U.S. is invaluable.
This goes a long way, particularly in the start-up phase of a project as you require hands on involvement with your project. It is important that you have a day to day contact in your time zone for trouble shooting, planning and preparation. Too often small but critical details can be lost in translation as operators try to work through cultural barriers, time zones and misunderstandings.
Even those dealing with a satellite factory right in the U.S. have to deal with production issues, timing and other miscues. If you’ve ever played the secret game as a kid, where one person begins a story, then passes it around a ring of people until the last one hears it, then you have seen how details are lost and the story is altered from its original concept. The same is true when passing along instructions to your offshore manufacturing partners.
Unless you have a consistent source, who speaks your language and understands the objectives, you can end up with a mess.