This year there has been a lot of concern around the world about lead (and other) contamination in Chinese products.Â Since most companies have no first-hand knowledge of the factories (and especially sub-contractors) that produce their products, the potential exists for foreign companies buying Chinese products to get burned.
Â The way to deal with this, of course, is to make sure that everything is kosher on the production side.Â Now, a lot of companies have Chinese nationals working for them on the other side, making sure of quality control, but I have seen this to be a rather hit-or-miss proposition.Â What if your employee gets a better deal from the factory to let things slide?Â Where is the accountability?Â The solution is to have experienced ex-pats, hired by you directly,Â and whoÂ are not beholden to Chinese political or economic bosses, go and check things out themselves, make sure that the products are being made and tested correctly, and that nobody is trying to pull a fast one.
Do you know how easy it is to fake a quality control test?Â How do you know that a special batch of your product wan’t made just to pass the tests, and that the rest are intentionally faulty?Â Of course, if discovered, the factory will plead ignorance, and fire a few people here and there, but in China, workers are expendable.Â Expendable.Â That means no accountability.Â Nobody gets taken to task, and you are left holding the bag…unless, of course, you have your own man there covering your assets.
If you manufacture products in China, or want to, and you have the slightest concern about quality control and a “shenanegan-free” environment, drop me an email.Â I am an experienced, multi-lingualÂ sourcer who has been working and travelling between China and the U.S. since 1998, and this is my forte.Â I know China, have been just about everywhere, and I have seen this happen too many times, and heard too many sob storiesÂ from folks who got burned in China.Â Don’t let it happen again.Â If you are doing business in China and are in any way concerned, send me an email, and we’ll talk about your options.
Lambert Ninteman (owner of Yi Pin Xiang tea import co.Â Â www.thewholeleaf.com)