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NOTABLE! The definitive guide for MFG/QC issues and what you ecommerce sourcers and inventors must know

Discussion in 'Product Creation, Inventing, Importing, Sourcing' started by Arun Siva, Feb 19, 2018.

  1. Out of Touch
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    Out of Touch Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED

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    Just finished reading through this.
    Thank you for the thread and I appreciate it being on the outside.

    The main point I've garnered through my reading is to take the initial manufacturing process very seriously. The more hard work put into the process up front will bear the fruits of having lesser and smaller problems to deal with later.

    Also, are you able to provide a link to the third-party articles that you use? (They are pretty easy to find with a search engine but I still think that it would be good to source them).
     
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  2. Aston_M
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    Aston_M New Contributor FASTLANE INSIDER

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    Hey, great post, I am in the process of importing 2500 units of a electronic product, production has finished, we have had 6 units sent to us to test and 3 out of the 6 units have broken / are faulty.

    How should I resolve this with the factory in China? Do I get them to rework, I have no way to test every pair for a good amount of time to ensure the quality, any ideas?

    The pre production samples were perfect and had no issues.
     
    Arun Siva likes this.
  3. Arun Siva
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    Arun Siva aspiring 大君 of the bourgeoisie Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED Speedway Pass Summit Attendee

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    Please send me a PM
     
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  4. Aston_M
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    Aston_M New Contributor FASTLANE INSIDER

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    PM sent, thanks.
     
  5. Overdrive
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    Overdrive Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED

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    Hi Arun Siva and fellow Fastlaners,

    I'm pretty new to this forum and just discovered this fantastic thread as I'm looking for potential pain points and unmet needs, especially of people who purchase from Chinese vendors or otherwise have business dealings with Chinese companies. I'm specifically looking for such unmet needs from a legal angle due to my professional background (I'm an in-house attorney at a multinational in Taiwan). I'm also bilingual (English/Mandarin) and was wondering if I could use my skills to create a service or product that would be of value to people or companies in the West doing business with Chinese companies.

    (Btw, please let me know in case it is more appropriate to open my own thread instead of posting here.)

    My questions to you and other veterans who have experience with business dealings and negotiations with Chinese vendors would be:

    1. What are your specific pain points or needs, if any, when it comes to communicating in English with your Chinese vendors (is the language barrier a real problem)? Would it make sense, in your view, to use standard letters or documents (such as POs, RFQ, etc) in English attached with a reliable Chinese translation just as a back-up to avoid miscommunications? Or is this never an issue?

    2. Do you ever actually enter contracts with the Chinese side and if so, what kind of contracts would that be in your biz? Would these contracts be signed in English or Chinese or both? What are common problems you encounter wrt contracts? (A friend of mine who used to be a garment manufacturer in China before he retired told me he never used any contracts with his mostly US buyers at all, so I'm wondering if this is true in general or just in his particular line of business).

    3. Would you see any value in having (customizable) drafts of contracts, baseline agreements, Terms & Conditions, clauses, letters or forms (or any other legal documents) available to you in English, attached with a reliable Chinese translation that has been reviewed and approved by a local Chinese lawyer as conforming with local laws?

    These are my basic questions so far as I'm still in the "chasing needs" phase and wondering if I should take this further or not.

    In case there exists such a need, I'd be willing to invest some time in creating some of those generic documents mentioned above, based on your input, and also provide Chinese translations and share them here at no cost.

    I look forward to your feedback. Thanks a lot in advance!
     
    Arun Siva and Sheens like this.
  6. amp0193
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    amp0193 Legendary Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass LEGENDARY CONTRIBUTOR Summit Attendee

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    This is kind of off-topic to the thread.

    I think you should copy/paste this into a new post. You'll probably get more people seeing it that way.

    FWIW, I think there's a lot of value in this idea. I think you're onto something.
     
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  7. Overdrive
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    amp0193, thanks a lot for your feedback. Much appreciated! And sorry for the off-topic post. I think I will start a new thread of my own, as per your suggestion.
     
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  8. Arun Siva
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    Arun Siva aspiring 大君 of the bourgeoisie Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED Speedway Pass Summit Attendee

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    feel free to PM me with specific questions. Id be glad to help anyway
     
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  9. Overdrive
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    Overdrive Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED

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    Hi Arun Siva, thanks so much for this offer. I've just PM'd you.
     
  10. Arun Siva
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    Arun Siva aspiring 大君 of the bourgeoisie Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED Speedway Pass Summit Attendee

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    A good pdf on DFM analysis and what to expect for small or large scale manufacturing.
     

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  11. Arun Siva
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    Arun Siva aspiring 大君 of the bourgeoisie Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED Speedway Pass Summit Attendee

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    Here is a good video for people to get an in depth overall understanding on PIM. From an engineering perspective.

    View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RMjtmsr3CqA



    I am contemplating doing a series of videos on quality analysis and what to look for but was wondering what people thought about it firsthand. I am sure it would be of great help for sourcers and manufacturers in general.
     
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  12. Arun Siva
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    Arun Siva aspiring 大君 of the bourgeoisie Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED Speedway Pass Summit Attendee

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    Wanted to bump this thread because I wanted to point out that @amp0193 @B. Cole are slaying it. I am proud to help them and proud that they are absorbing all of the intricacies (despite being the holidays and going through hell and back) of manufacturing and product sourcing. This was not meant to be easy but I have full confidence in them because of their attention to detail and work ethic (respectively).

    The main idea i would like for anyone to understand is the importance of what is at stake (when you are first starting out). The factories in the east are a different breed. You need to compel them from the getgo (especially the best factories and manufacturers) that you ARE the real deal and that you mean business and actually know what the F*** you are talking about. Big props to @B. Cole especially because he is dealing with certain suppliers that cant even speak english! There are no excuses because NUMBERS are universal language. Processes and images (which clearly the yesteryear idiom a picture is worth 1000 words cant be truer) are your best friend. Prints and CAD markups with less text and more numbers can work wonders if time is scarce... Generally speaking you want to make sure you have checks and balances put in place to avoid any nonsensical issues in the future. All of this legwork is a must and believe not just me but @amp0193 and @B. Cole (their experiences truly).

    Hope everyone is having a good easter holidays.
     
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  13. Arun Siva
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    Arun Siva aspiring 大君 of the bourgeoisie Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED Speedway Pass Summit Attendee

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    AFter a couple of hard nosed negotiations this month, I think that this is something that EVERYONE can take home to the table and reflect on when dealing with whomever it is that you deal with. What I have found will work for all situations and scenarios.

    I FORESAW IT

    I = Interests
    F = Factual and Financial research
    O = Options
    R = Rapport, reactions and responses
    E = Empathy and Ethics
    S = Settin and Scheduling
    A = Alternatives to agreement
    W = Who
    I = Independent Criterion
    T = Topics, Targets and Tradeoffs

    I FORESAW IT sums up many of the key factors which a negotiator needs to consider in preparing for a negotiation. In essence, the mnemonic asks you to do six things: (1) consider what you each really want and why, (2) learn as much as possible about the situation, (3) think creatively, (4) empathize, (5) develop alternatives to agreement, and (6) identify your targets and priorities.

    Interests- Yours, mine.... OURS. Beyond our respective demands, why do we each want what we say we want? Rank the answers in order of importance. Include intangible interests such as face-saving. Don’t skimp on common interests (that is, shared goals you can achieve by working together)- expert negotiators spend far more time on this than average negotiators do.

    Factual Research- Knowledge counts. What are the market prices? What do the relevant documents say? What do industry experts say? What published information is there about the matter? The other person? What is the history of the relationship? What are the cultural norms?

    The legal constraints? What does spreadsheet analysis reveal? How is the other person’s organization set up? Err on the side of exhaustive learning.

    Options- Brainstorm possible deal terms. That is, think of as many negotiable solutions to the problem as possible, even if they seem silly. Think of solutions that might satisfy each side’s interests. Get help from a trusted friend or colleague. Don’t critique until you’ve generated at least six for each topic you wish to discuss. Excellent negotiators generate twice as many options as average negotiators do. Then review and refine your options and select the one(s) you feel would be your first preference.

    Reactions and Responses- Do this last. Once you develop offer(s) using the rest of the mnemonic, practice proposing your offer(s) to the other negotiator and try predicting her reactions to your proposal and to the situation generally. What will she feel she’ll lose if she says “yes,” and gain if she says “no”? Then consider how you might respond. Consider her interests- how will she satisfy her interests by saying “yes” and hurt them by saying “no”? Are there Independent criteria you can use to show the proposal is fair? Role playing can produce real surprises and insights.

    Empathy and Ethics- Empathize. Put yourself in the other person’s shoes. Speak or write a paragraph in his voice about the situation. What problem does he have? Why do you seem difficult? What hang ups are you bringing to the negotiation? How would you like to be treated if you were in his place? If you are working with someone from another culture, try learning about her culture and her history. Empathizing is perhaps the hardest and most important task. A related concern is the ethical and spiritual dimension. What likely ethical dilemmas will you face? How will you deal with them? What limits will you set? It may help (perhaps in ways that have nothing to do with money) to pray for wisdom, patience, strength, and understanding. It may also help to pray for the other person (especially if relations are strained).

    Setting and Scheduling- (a) Where will you negotiate? By phone? By letter? In person? Where are you each more comfortable? If you meet, where? Your place? Theirs? A neutral place? Why? Will you meet in private or in public? (Negotiating in the public eye often makes it harder for each negotiator to make concessions without losing face.) Have a change of setting in mind in case you reach an impasse- often this can help change the result. Palestinian and Israeli negotiators reached agreement in 1993 in part by meeting secretly in a Norwegian diplomat’s living room where food was served and children were running around. Will you meet via phone? Email? (Phone negotiations tend to fail more than face to face do; email negotiations tend to fail even more.) (b) When will you negotiate? Before something else happens? After? Why? Timing can be crucial. If there are several parties, with whom will you meet first? Then whom? What time of day will you negotiate? (If possible, avoid negotiating when you are tired.)

    Alternatives to Agreement- If there’s no deal, what will you do instead? What will she? List the different possible alternatives separately for each side. For example, if you’re negotiating to buy my car and we can’t agree, what exactly will you do instead? Take the bus? Buy a new car you saw at the local dealership yesterday? Try to improve your alternatives with research. Rank yours; which is your best alternative?

    Your worst? Rank hers. Which is her best? Her worst? (If she says “no,” she may be running the risk of winding up with her worst alternative. Tactfully noting this risk may encourage her to say yes.) Alternatives matter. All the negotiating technique in the world won’t matter if the other person has a great offer from someone else and you need her business desperately.

    Who- Who can influence the outcome of the talks? Who will you deal with? Is there someone else who would be better to deal with instead? Is there someone you might deal with if you reach an impasse? (e.g. managers often have much more latitude than clerks). Who do you each answer to? What do they want? Who else should you involve in the process? Should you use agents? Mediators? Who else may influence the negotiations? Spouses? Customers? Name them. Learn as much as you appropriately can about them. Also, are there coalitions you can form? Other coalitions you need to block? If several people are involved (say, a board of directors or a work team), is there a likely ally whom you should talk to first?

    Independent Criteria- What objective standards can you appeal to so the other person feels your offer is fair and reasonable? Look for something the other person is likely to trust that’s out of your control: appraisals, ratings, reports, industry statements about standards and practices, verifiable precedent, existing contract terms, or a fair decision rule such as ‘I cut/you choose’. Independent criteria let you say, in effect, “don’t take my word for it; let’s turn to something we both trust.” They are far more persuasive than saying, “well, I think I’m making you a very fair offer.”

    Topics, Targets, and Tradeoffs- This last letter is where you turn your preparation work into a focused one page guide to the talks. In essence, you set an agenda, develop goals for each, prioritize, and add some promising creative options. Here’s how:

    (a) Topics. Write down the topics you’ll talk about (such as salary, hours, vacation time). Look beyond the obvious for hidden topics worth discussing (such as start date).

    (b) Targets. For each topic, set two targets- the outcome you’d like best (your top target) and least (your walkaway target). (For example- “Salary: 50K – 40K”). Your top target should be ambitious but realistic, based on your factual research into market values and the other person’s alternatives. Your walkaway target should be fairly firm and roughly equal to the value of your best Alternative to a negotiated agreement.

    (c) Tradeoffs. (1) Look for tradeoffs between topics by ranking topics. Which matters most to you? Would you give up lots of X if you could have lots of Y? Ranking topics is particularly valuable when there are lots of them. (2) Look for tradeoffs within a single topic- that is, look for creative options that would really satisfy you both for that topic. Review the list Options you created earlier select the options you’d accept or offer.
     
    Jmlm.920 and Guest921Y like this.

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