Why WeSource

The past few months have been a busy time for our team. Summer brings with it a full calendar of events, from cocktail events to cruises, BBQs to beach parties. While we try not to ‘talk shop’ all the time, such events offer wonderful opportunities to tell more people about the WeSource difference.

Below are the answers to some of the most popular questions I receive. If you have a question that is not here, don’t hesitate to get in touch!

What exactly could WeSource do for my business?

We help companies that are looking to either buy from or manufacture in China. We act as an extension of your business. With a full-time team of 13 both Beijing and the US, we communicate with suppliers, manufacturers, inspectors and customs on your behalf.

So, how would it work?

This depends on where you are in the process. Here are 3 examples:

Example 1: I already manufacture in China, but I am unhappy with the quality/communication/service I receive. 

We understand! We can arrange inspectors to visit your manufacturer and conduct quality control inspections to your requirements. If the issues cannot be resolved, we will research other factories that can manufacture your product and provide you with our recommendations.

Example 2: I want to buy a large number of widgets from China and have them branded with my logo. Can you help?

Of course! Once we know your exact requirements, we will reach out to our network of suppliers and provide you with several quotations to choose from. Once you are happy with the quotation we can arrange samples, monitor production and arrange shipment to the US.

Example 3:  I have a brilliant idea for a new product. Can you help me make it?

Maybe! The technical specifications of your product will determine whether or not we can assist you here. Having said that, we work with a number of companies to create emerging technology products.  Email or call us to discuss how we can make your idea a reality.

Example 4: I have a product that contains a number of components, all coming from different factories. Can you help me manage this?

Of course! We offer ‘full communications services’. This means that we take over the communications between each of your suppliers, your manufacturer, your shipping company and customs in either Mandarin or English. We manage each of these relationships on your behalf, allowing you to work on your business rather than becoming tied up in day-to-day emails.

How much is this going to cost me?

Our rates are highly competitive and depend on the level of service required. You may require our assistance to arrange a one-time inspection, or you may require assistance to launch an entire collection.

We delight in making your sourcing experience easy, efficient and economical.

Why not get in touch today? 

The delays you can't avoid

So you placed your order with a factory and are now waiting patiently for production to finish. What could possibly go wrong? The answer is, unfortunately, a lot. Here are some of the more common delays you may experience – and how to avoid them.

Holiday headaches

China has seven national holidays each year: New Year’s Day, Chinese New Year, Qingming, May Day, Dragon Boat, Mid-Autumn Day and National Day. All of these involve more than one day off, meaning factories close for extended periods and often for weeks at a time. As you can imagine, factories become especially busy in the lead-up to these holidays. Always make sure to check the production schedule with the factory before placing the order and ask them about any upcoming holidays. If there is a national holiday within throwing distance of the completion date of your order, state explicitly that you expect it to be finished before that date.

VIP access

Just as fully-booked restaurants miraculously find tables for their best customers, so too factories do their best to keep their VIP customers happy. This means that sometimes you may find that your order has been delayed for an unknown reason – it is entirely possible it has been pushed back in order to accommodate a larger, more lucrative order or a repeat customer. When starting out, your order quantities are likely to be small. Giving yourself an extra week or two to accommodate this kind of delay will ensure you are not caught short.

When less isn’t more

Once your order is complete, the factory will send it to the port so that it can be shipped to you. If your order is LCL (Less than Container Load), the factory may delay sending your order to the port until they can combine it with another order to save on shipping costs. There is not much to be done to avoid this, other than ordering a full container load. As above, factor in an extra week to your production schedule to minimize any damage from a later delivery.

Forget to pay the bill?

China is the world’s largest consumer of electricity, and supply is not meeting demand. The result of this is that the state governments periodically shut down electricity to certain areas or cities, on specified days or unexpectedly. This is a particular hazard during late spring and early summer, when the use of air-conditioners spike. If such an event occurs during production of your order, expect lengthy delays across the entire supply chain.

These are a few of the common delays you may encounter during the production of your order. While you may not be able to control them, being aware of and planning for them will go a long way in making sure you are not caught short. 

Inspection Reports: What to look for

The first rule of inspections is – have them! They are not expensive (starting from $100, depending on the size of your order) and enable you to identify any issues before the order leaves the factory and the country.

An inspection report is a report completed by either the factory or an independent inspector checking your order against  your quality specifications. Inspections are most commonly conducted once production has finished, however, you can also request an inspection mid-production if necessary.

Here are four things to ask yourself before you give your next inspection report the all-clear.

1. Do the products meet my Quality Control specifications?

Before placing an order, you must set out your QC specifications in a QC sheet and send it to the factory (contact us for a free sample of a QC sheet). This is the document the inspection company will work from when conducting your inspections. As the customer, you specify the focus of the inspections. So, if there are any particular concerns you have going into production, ensure they are listed on the QC sheet.

2. Is there photographic evidence?  

Photographs are a must. Request photographs of any elements of your product you are concerned about, such as seams and joins. You might also want photographs of the production process. You should also request photographs of your product in its final packaging, and of the final packed products inside the shipping cartons.

3. Does it measure up?

Make sure the finished product has the same measurements as specified in your order. Check that the packaging and shipping boxes are the size you thought they were going to be. This is especially important in cases where you are supplying a product to a company that uses an automatic sorting machine, as they often have strict carton requirements.

4. What sample size are they using?

Ensure you know how many items will be inspected, and request your own sample size if you want to. Typically, a post-production inspection will check 1-2% of an order. If there are any issues in the first inspection, have a second inspection and specify a larger sample size.

While many factories offer their own inspection services, we recommend engaging a third party inspection company for your own peace of mind. This is a service we can easily arrange for your business – feel free to contact us for more information.