Blog Posts by Stuart Whitmore
Read More »from Global Trading Tips: 7 Practical Lessons for Doing Business With China
China has held a fascination for traders ever since the Silk Road first opened its markets to the world, but never more than now. The items swapping hands may have changed from spices and silks into mass-produced consumer goods, but for newcomers to international sourcing much of the Middle Kingdom’s mystery remains.
Linguistic and cultural differences can conspire to overwhelm the uninitiated. New entrepreneurs often approach China with a mixture of excitement and trepidation, the opportunity on offer weighed against fears of being conned or nightmares about causing mortal offense with a misplaced chopstick.
Alizila asked three old China sourcing hands to share their experiences of dealing with the mainland. Here are the lessons they learned the hard way:
Lesson 1: Don’t believe all the horror stories
We all know what happens when you do business with a Chinese company. If they don’t rip you off or screw up your order you end up eating monkey brains in a backstreet restaurant and
Stuart Whitmore | Profit Minded – Mon, Feb 25, 2013 6:08 PM EST
Read More »from Global Trading Tips: The Fivefold Path to Quality Control
For businesses that outsource their manufacturing to overseas suppliers, quality control is critical to success. Outsourcing, though, is not a level playing field. When the world's most valuable company, Apple, has an axe to grind on QC, CEO Tim Cook can jet in, don a white coat and demand a tour of the factory. In a recent interview with Bloomberg Businessweek, Cook revealed that Apple and its supplier work so closely that employees from Cupertino regularly bunk in Chinese factory dorms.
If you're a small business you'll never wield Apple's level of influence—putting eyeballs and clipboards on the factory floor at every stage of the production process takes time and money that few SMEs can spare. But there are measures available, short of moving into a dorm room in China, that can help ensure the products that roll off the assembly line meet your standards and those of your customers. Here are five tips for getting what you pay for, without paying a lot to do so:
1. ASK FOR