Plan Your Factory Visit

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Visiting a China factory? Here is a good checklist of things to know

  • Prior to Your Visit:

    • Keep good records
    • Initial inquiry date, response dates
    • Contact info, address, phone, emails, web site, etc
    • Are they a Broker or Manufacturer
    • Current products produced and markets served
    • Number of employees, year established
    • Notes
    • NDA signed √
    • Build a map
  • Preparing to Visit:

    • Have your host provide you the name and address in both English and Chinese.
    • Also have them recommend nearby hotels.
  • Your Products—Have a Product Deck with:

    • Professional 3D and engineering drawings
    • Material and technical specifications
    • Finishes
    • Packaging—primary and secondary
    • Fit and function requirements—QC testing
    • Volumes—initial run and annual
  • The Factory—What to Document

    • Organizational chart – Pay special attention to the quality control team and processes.
    • Ask for permission to take photos
    • Ask to see similar products
    • Ask about specific customers and whether they are producing for your country
    • Take note of how busy the factory is
    • Types of equipment and care of the equipment
    • How do they organize tooling?
    • How well organized is their warehouse for both materials and finished goods
    • Is their staff bi-lingual
    • Do they compete in the same market as you?  Attend trade shows? Manufacture their own brands vs. purely contract manufacture?
  • Other Things to Know:

    • Years in business
    • Number of employees
    • Owners/founders
    • Are they compliant with all current regulatory and environmental requirements?
    • What are the payment terms?
    • Do they assist with shipping?
    • Ask them how they deal with defective products (return and damage policies)
    • Do they have a current ERP system to track materials, orders