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5 ways to assure mass production success

By Li Zhang

Mass production success doesn't happen by fate but by supplier and buyer working arm-in-arm.

Success in mass production doesn’t happen when solely left to the supplier, but it’s buyer and supplier working arm-in-arm. Here are 5 ways to assure success in mass production.


During mass production, it’s very important to stay in touch with your supplier. Not only staying in touch but being available to answer questions and give confirmations.

Can you imagine that some Chinese suppliers make rogue decisions because they feel like their client is not willing to be contacted and help to answer questions? By the way, this is a cultural feeling, whether right or wrong…

Let your supplier know that you are always available, especially during mass production, to help answer questions.


Clearly define expectations

This one goes hand-in-hand with communication. If you have not clearly defined your expectations with your Chinese supplier, chances are, they will take whatever path in mass production.

“But I confirmed a sample”, you may say.

Yes, but have you:

• Educated your supplier, during the preproduction phases, to the purpose of the product? What market, what age group, what function?

• Clarified what parts of the sample are a must?

• Informed your supplier the top quality aspects of the product that cannot waiver?


Control during mass production

Once the supplier starts bulk production, this is not the time the buyer goes into neutral and expects everything by chance of fate to “go right”.

• Request purposeful photos during certain aspects of the production.

• Ask your supplier pointed questions to makes sure they stay on their toes.

• Have the supplier send you random production samples to confirm.


Motivate your supplier to assure they’re invested

How’s your relationship with your vendor? Do they look at you as a 1-off customer who, regardless of the order’s success, will never come back? Does the vendor see repeat business.

Assuring a motivated supplier is synonymous with assuring the order’s success.


Book a 3rd party factory visit to check mass production

There are not many situations that should impede you from booking a 3rd party inspection. These range from US$300 to US$500.00.

By these 3rd party inspections, you have clarity on the final mass production quality.

Don’t leave it up to chance, but along with your supplier, spearhead initiatives and control the order.

Li Zhang has worked in international manufacturing and exporting since 2003. She has served global brands such as Bayer, Coca Cola and Warner Bros. Her background is in design and engineering. Li is a native of Jiangsu Province and currently finds herself back and forth between Suzhou, China and the USA. Contact Li at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., or find her penning manufacturing thoughts at her blog.

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