Global Sources
Ready to import from China? Find verified suppliers on Global Sources.
Share / Recommend:

Timing control in China manufacturing wrap up

by Jacob Yount

In China manufacturing, timing can make or break an order.

In the promotional product industry; missing a shipping date is the same as losing the order.

For retailers and private labels, when you need to have those products on the shelves or being shipped out, timing missteps ruin prime selling seasons.

Did you know that timing blunders can also hurt the quality of production?

“Wait, wait, how can timing hurt quality? Although both are important, it seems they would be exclusive…?”  Says the curious importer…

Yes, the timing control in China manufacturing, or lack thereof hurts the order’s quality.

Here are some scenarios:

1-  Whenever confirmations and tweaking drag on forever:  Chinese factories have a certain level of interest in their gas tank. The more something drags on the lower that “interest level” gets. As a project is strung along and tweaked and changed, the factory becomes lukewarm on the job. They still take the job and still produce the job but they have lost any zeal at all to make sure the job is produced correctly.

Now the factory’s main goal is getting this order out of their face and on to the next project. Thus subpar quality.

2- How about this one;  whenever the factory produces too fast! You may think this is a rarity but the factory many times, as they act like a big machine, their primary goal can be to get an order IN and get an order OUT. If you do not inform the factory of various steps where you would like to see samples and if you do not determine the “points of no return” where there are no possibilities of turning back, the factory will plough through a sloppy production and have everything packed and ready to ship out faster than you can say “where are my QC photos?”.

Timing problems are not only classified as “goods leaving factory too late”. But timing errors and potholes start from the beginning of the project and can actually originate from the buyers’ side. This happens in the forms of slow signoffs, slow replies, not promptly going from one step to another, but stringing the factory along and even not giving your factory an idea of the timelines you hope to achieve.

Control, whether quality, timing or cost, all starts at the beginning of the project  is ongoing.
Control, whether quality, timing or cost, all starts at the beginning of the project is ongoing.

Lastly, I’m putting together all recent posts on timing control in China manufacturing. This was to be a reference article to consolidate the various approaches on timing control:

Urgent Delivery Time Checklist:  If timing is urgent, don’t just say it, but put these steps in motion.

 Timing Considerations in China Manufacturing:  Define your terms in your timing control. The factory says a bunch of dates, you say a bunch of dates…is everything talking about the same thing?

Surprising Reasons for China Manufacturing Delays:  What’s the old expression? You can control a picnic but you cannot control what sinister deed a 3rd party vendor may do?

“Well, We’ve Got Time”:  Famous last words said by the importer who is now singing the blues about how they missed important dates.

Let  me know if any of these tips have helped in getting a better perspective on timing control in China manufacturing.

Jacob Yount lived in China from 2001 to 2012, during which time he started JLmade. He is now based out of North Carolina in the US and his home office is still in Suzhou, China; manufacturing and exporting branded merchandise, promotional products and retail gifts for distributors worldwide. Contact Jacob at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., or find him on his blog.

Add comment

Security code

Stay Connected

Get Import from China Headlines by E-mail

Attend the Global Sources Summit

  • For online & Amazon sellers
  • Interactive training led by sourcing & Amazon experts
  • Learn how to source profitably, avoid pitfalls
  • April 17 - 19, 2017 in Hong Kong
  • Co-located with Mobile Electronics and
    Gifts & Home shows

Learn More

Join the Smart China Sourcing Facebook Group
  • Connect with other buyers
  • Ask questions
  • Get advice from experts

Join Group

Join Global Sources on Facebook

Be our fan now for the latest sourcing news, practical sourcing guides and expert advice.

Follow Global Sources on Twitter

We'll keep you updated with tweets on sourcing news, trade resources & more.