China Manufacturing Decoded

China Manufacturing Decoded

Join Renaud Anjoran, Founder & CEO of Sofeast, in this podcast aimed at importers & people who develop their own products as he discusses the hottest topics and shares actionable tips for manufacturing in China and SE Asia today! WHO IS RENAUD? Renaud is a French certified ISO 9001 & 14001 lead auditor, ASQ certified Quality Engineer and Quality Manager who has been working in the Chinese manufacturing industry since 2005. He is also the founder of the Sofeast group that has over 200 staff and offers services (QA, product development & engineering, project management, SCM), contract manufacturing, and fulfilment for importers who develop their own products and buyers from China & SE Asia. WHY LISTEN? We'll discuss interesting topics for anyone who develops and sources their products from Asian suppliers and will share Renaud's decades of manufacturing experience, as well as inviting on guests from the industry to get a different viewpoint. Our goal is to help you get better results and end up with suppliers and products that exceed your expectations!

Episodes

May 14, 2021 35 min
In This Episode...

Renaud interviews Greg Fleming, an experienced merchandising and manufacturing operations manager who went from New Zealand to Australia to China and finally is now based in Ho Chi Minh City in South Vietnam.

Greg's background is mainly in the apparel trade, from fabric production to retail. Due to his experience in both Vietnam and China, he is well-placed to give us some really interesting insight into man...

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Sofeast's CEO Renaud Anjoran joins Adrian from the team to explore the best practices importers could follow when sourcing a new contract manufacturer or component supplier in China, or beyond. This includes sourcing options (who to use), the typical sourcing process, if the lowest prices are always best, IP protection, manufacturer types, and CM sourcing tools and steps.

The purpose of this episode is to gi...

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Sofeast's CEO Renaud Anjoran is joined by Adrian from the team for a conversation about some of the things that smaller companies who are getting products manufactured abroad either cannot or will have great difficulty negotiating with suppliers in China, Vietnam, or other popular manufacturing destinations in Asia?

This list of 9 items will give you some idea about what is realistic if you're manufactur...

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Adrian from the Sofeast team is joined by special guest Phil Brown, owner of Phil Brown Consultancy, who is an ISO 9001 and 14001 consultant in the UK.

Phil talks us through the ISO 9001 QMS, the requirements that make up this standard, benefits, the difference between good and bad implementations, and some tips from him to follow if you're implementing the QMS sometime soon.

 

Show Notes

00:51 - Introduci...

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Sofeast's CEO is joined by Adrian from the team and they discuss Non-Recurring Engineering (NRE) costs for manufacturers. As the name suggests, these costs are usually one-off and accrue towards the start of a new product development project and are what it takes to get your product into production. These costs are perhaps better known as R&D costs, and it's important to get to grips with them as they...

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Andy Bartlett, an experienced British product designer who has 25 years of experience in product design, development, and working with manufacturers in China, returns to the podcast to join Sofeast's CEO Renaud for a lively discussion about the kinds of issues and common pitfalls that can come up when developing, approving, and maintaining tooling for your plastic injection molded products.

You'll learn ...

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Sofeast's CEO Renaud and Adrian from the team explore an important part of the new product launch process: pilot runs.

What is a pilot run, why is it so important when bringing new products to market, and what are the benefits we can expect when performing them before going into full production? These and more questions like this answered in this episode!

 

Show Notes

00:00 - Introducing the episode

00:51...

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Adrian asks Renaud the questions: "Is Investing In Process Automation In The Factory Worth It?" and "What are the best practices to follow to smoothly transition into more automation?"

In China especially, there's a trend to replace staff with equipment, and part of this automation drive comes from the government itself who is steering the manufacturing sector towards higher-tech products.

A...

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Renaud interviews Simon Caballero, a Hanoi-based purchasing manager and expert on manufacturing in Vietnam, to discuss the manufacturing industry in Vietnam, common risks and issues you will face when manufacturing garments there, and the relationship between developing new products and manufacturing in Vietnam and China. 

Simon has a background in logistics and over a decade of experience in sourcing all kinds ...

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Design For Quality is a process we follow in order to design good quality into products at the early concept and prototyping stages during the new product introduction process.

You will probably be surprised as to how many design points need to be considered in order to have a mature product design that can be mass-produced with the minimum of quality problems, defects, safety issues, and more.

Our CEO Renaud h...

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Preventive maintenance in the factory is a topic of interest for many Sofeast customers, and manufacturers who rely on machinery in the factory and choose to put in place a preventive maintenance plan tend to keep operations running smoothly and keep ahead of equipment maintenance, repairs, and routine part replacements. This gives them numerous advantages, not least fewer quality problems, less cost sunk into in...

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Interested in setting up a factory of your own in China (or perhaps other countries in Asia, too)?  Renaud and his business partner Fabien have been there and done it, so let's explore how they set up our Chinese contract manufacturing subsidiary, Agilian Technology, and how they've tried to implement best practices learned over decades in China to offer something better than other Chinese factories.

Sh...

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Adrian and our CEO, Renaud, discuss how the current political tensions between the USA and other Western nations and China are affecting manufacturing and provide some more general observations on the 'Cold War' trends of containment and decoupling that seem to be gathering strength.

This topic stemmed from this recent Forbes article which suggested that Americans polled would be prepared to pay 20% more...

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Adrian and Renaud, Sofeast's CEO, return in this special Chinese New Year 2021 edition of the podcast! 🧧🧨🐂

During the CNY period manufacturing in China (and other parts of East Asia) is effectively on hold for several weeks, so during this time importers have a chance to 'Spring Clean' their supply chain, finding and eliminating risks and also looking for untapped opportunitie...

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Adrian interviews Richard Barnett, CMO of SupplyFrame, an AI-based SaaS solution which enables sourcing insights and decision support that improves the performance and resilience of electronics supply chains. 

US-native Richard has decades of experience in the electronics field and has clocked many years in Asia, so he was an ideal person to discuss supply chain risks faced by today's importers of Asian elec...

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Adrian and Renaud discuss the rising number of COVID-19 cases in China barely a week or so before the Chinese New Year holiday is set to happen where tens of millions of people will travel home around the country.

The outbreak is centered on the North of the country at present, but if it were to spread this could lead to lockdowns throughout the country and the authorities are already raising alertness and prepa...

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Adrian catches up with Andy Bartlett, an experienced British product designer who has 25 years of experience in product design, development, and working with manufacturers in China to discuss project management best practices when dealing with Chinese suppliers with a special focus on Andy's take on this from a product design perspective. He covers project management tips and techniques, building good relatio...

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Adrian and Renaud discuss the topic of product reliability testing. What is this type of testing, when do we carry it out, what are the risks of not doing the testing, and what does it cost? These questions and many more are answered, because today, more than ever, it's so important for importers to protect themselves against expensive recalls and lawsuits which may occur if your products don't reach expe...

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Adrian and Renaud kick-off 2021 with Renaud's thoughts on how the coronavirus pandemic will continue to affect manufacturing this year and how things might change once vaccine use becomes more widespread, and then get into the main topic: How to validate a supplier's production capacity, especially if you're a buyer abroad who isn't able to travel to China (or elsewhere in Asia) to do this on-site...

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Adrian and Renaud talk about the current trend of moving manufacturing operations away from China, either partly or completely. This really started to gain pace due to the US/China trade war and the punitive tariffs imposed by the US government on some 'Made-In-China' goods, and, in some ways, the coronavirus pandemic hastened it, too, as companies sought to diversify supply chains to reduce risk.

So is ...

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