By Dan Harris
One of the things our China lawyers are always telling our clients is that they should visit their China factories. Such a trip is critical for the following four reasons:
- Visiting your China factory emphasizes that you care. Why should your China factory care if it doesn’t believe you care?
- Visiting your China factory makes you a human being and not just a purchase order. This decreases your chances of getting bad quality products.
- Visiting your China factory is a great opportunity to see product quality (or a lack thereof) and to work on product quality.
- I guarantee the value of what you learn from such a trip will exceed the cost of taking it.
I believe — based strictly on feel and not hard evidence, and without doing any accounting for other variables — that foreign companies that visit their China factories have 90% fewer factory problems than those that don’t. Now before you challenge this, note that we as China attorneys do not make a penny more from our clients that make these visits. In fact, we make less, and yet here we are making clear how important this is.
I have had countless clients go on and on about how much they learned from visiting their China factories, but nobody has ever told me they regretted having made such a visit — not even those who left China convinced they needed to cut ties with their existing factory.
But what should you do on such a visit? My answer is that above all else you should spend time getting to know your Chinese counterparts as this is what will help you down the road. But this is also a great opportunity for you to see what your China factory can do. Can it make your next generation widget, or should you be looking elsewhere? Does your China factory look efficient, or does it look like it has almost no clue? Does it look and feel financially healthy or should you be concerned about your next order?
For a whole host of specific questions that may make sense for your business, I urge you to check out the following:
- What questions can you ask a Chinese factory during a visit?
- What it’s actually like to visit factories in China as an entrepreneur
- Lessons Learned From 7 Years of China Factory Visits
- China Factory Visits – Benefits of Visiting
- 5 tips for visiting factories in China
What do you find most important about your China factory visits?
Dan Harris is founder of the Harris Bricken law firm, a boutique international law firm focusing on small and medium sized businesses that operate internationally. China is the fastest growing area for the firm. Dan writes ChinaLawBlog.com as a source of China legal and business information.