In this episode...

Sofeast's CEO Renaud welcomes two guests, Dr. Allen J. Morrison & Dr. J. Stewart Black, to the podcast. These American leadership, strategy, business and manufacturing experts have recently written a new book "Enterprise China: Adopting a Competitive Strategy for Business Success" which was released on December 1st 2022.

Renaud read an advance copy of the book before this interview and discusses China's strategies for economic success and also asks some questions about risk analysis and risk mitigation for companies buying products from China.

 

Show Sections

00:00 - Greetings & introduction of today's guests.

02:02 - What is 'Enterprise China' about?

03:27 - China's 3-pillar strategy to succeed economically.

There are 3 strategic pillars to China's strategy for success.

  1. Reducing (or eliminating) their external dependency on importing key technology (03:39) 
  2. Dominate domestically (06:00)
  3. Winning globally (17:23)

20:55 - Why Western companies seeking growth by looking to the emerging markets may be too late in some cases.

23:44 - How should companies who buy from China do their risk analysis when considering diversifying supply chains to include other sources other than just China?

31:21 - How about a Zero-China strategy?

34:53 - Talking about the book 'Enterprise China,' when it's on sale, and where it can be purchased from.

36:00 - Wrapping up.

 

Related content...

 

Get in touch with us

 

Subscribe to the podcast 

There are more episodes to come, so remember to subscribe! You can do so in your favorite podcast apps here and don't forget to give us a 5-star rating, please:

In this episode...

Adrian and Sofeast's head of New Product Development, Andrew Amirnovin, delve into the topic of the cost of poor quality and reliability and why the phrase “Pay Me Now, or Pay Me Later" is so appropriate for when engineers talk about it.

You'll learn what makes up the cost of GOOD quality and reliability and why this amount is actually dwarfed by the cost of POOR quality and reliability. So if manufacturers don't pay now before production to solve and avoid issues, they're certainly going to pay a lot more later to put them right (if you even can by then)!

 

Show Sections

00:00 - Greetings and introducing the topic.

01:34 - What does “Pay Me Now, or Pay Me Later" mean?

03:34 - Why is the cost of poor quality so important?

05:34 - What is the difference between the cost of GOOD and POOR quality & reliability?

07:18 - What drives up prevention costs?

09:31 - What drives up appraisal costs?

18:40 - What drives the cost of internal failures?

22:56 - What drives the cost of external failures?

26:55 - Our recommendation: Pay now!

30:27 - Key takeaways from this episode.

 

Related content...

 

Get in touch with us

 

Subscribe to the podcast 

There are more episodes to come, so remember to subscribe! You can do so in your favorite podcast apps here and don't forget to give us a 5-star rating, please:

In this episode...

Renaud and Adrian from the team are looking ahead to Chinese New Year 2023 which is early next year on January 22nd. Take this as your annual reminder about why the holiday period can disrupt your supply and what you need to do to prepare for it, because in all likelihood your suppliers will be off for a good couple of weeks or so and the time periods surrounding the holiday also throw up challenges, too, which we'll get into...

 

Show Sections

00:00 - Greetings

00:30 - When is Chinese New Year?

02:27 - Be aware if your suppliers are likely to be busy around this time.

05:37 - Why the risk of naughty factory owners taking your money and running is higher just before CNY.

08:54 - Do you have enough inventory to carry you through the holiday?

11:28 - There is a lot of uncertainty in China in the manufacturing industry.

19:13 - Why NOT to have all your eggs in the China basket...

24:12 - Would it be realistic to schedule orders to be produced by suppliers outside of China in and around the CNY period as a way to reduce the risks of disruption of supply?

26:13 - Why the time period before and after CNY is also a 'red zone.'

32:49 - When is it safe to start ordering as normal?

59:03 - Wrapping up.

 

Related content...

 

Get in touch with us

 

Subscribe to the podcast 

There are more episodes to come, so remember to subscribe! You can do so in your favorite podcast apps here and don't forget to give us a 5-star rating, please:

In this episode...

Sofeast's CEO Renaud has an interesting guest on this episode: Prof. Neale O’Connor who is a China business and accounting expert and international keynote speaker!

Neale examined lots of Sofeast factory audit, product inspection, and manufacturing project data to determine the relationship between factory audits and good-quality products. He also checked thousands of complaints about Asia-wide suppliers from Global Sources data to work out if there were actions that importers could take to mitigate the chances of being scammed.

In this episode, you'll hear some very insightful results from his research that can help you source and work with better suppliers, reduce your risks, and avoid scammers!

 

Show Sections

00:00 - Greetings, introducing the topic, and our guest, Neale.

02:10 - Why Neale examined hundreds of our factory audits performed pre-covid to find the main patterns.

06:05 -Why product inspections/audits are different?

08:47 - What is the data saying about the incidents of pass/fail/hold aspects in product inspections?

14:11 - What did the data tell us about factory audits?

19:21 - How to reduce the number of factory audits you need to do if you only plan to work with one supplier?

21:23 - What does the data tell us about complex products?

23:47 - The takeaway from the Sofeast data analysis.

24:48 - Four key ways to avoid being scammed by Asian suppliers.

35:14 - Summary and wrapping up.

 

Related content...

 

Get in touch with us

 

Subscribe to the podcast 

There are more episodes to come, so remember to subscribe! You can do so in your favorite podcast apps here and don't forget to give us a 5-star rating, please:

In this episode...

Renaud and friend of the show, compliance expert Clive Greenwood, are talking about why today's manufacturers should assess the environmental impact of their productions in China, because of the impending EU Ecodesign for Sustainable Products Regulation (ESPR) that will demand that products become more sustainable and that you open up your supply chains for scrutiny. They also talk about what Chinese manufacturers think about this and provide some advice on how to get started on becoming compliant.

If you sell into the EU now, don't skip this! And if you sell into other developed markets, such as Canada, the USA, the UK, etc, it still applies to you as similar legislation is coming.

 

Show Sections

00:00 - Greetings and introducing the topic and our guest, Clive.

03:20 - The sustainability trend is embodied by the Ecodesign for Sustainable Products Regulation for putting products on the EU market. What is it?

07:37 - Does product design for sustainability play a role?

09:00 - Are any product categories in the crosshairs of the EU first?

18:00 - What are Chinese manufacturers doing about this sustainability requirement? Do they even know or care about it?

19:35 - Lithium-ion batteries: A growing environmental issue.

28:02 - Are other governments taking notice of this?

30:19 - How do companies usually assess the environmental impact of their products, including extraction and manufacturing?

33:12 - What a mobile phone lifecycle may include, and how ecodesign might affect how it's designed and developed.

39:45 - How will 'Fast Fashion' be affected?

42:30 - What can businesses do to become compliant?

50:51 - Your new commercial decision will not only be about a supplier's costs but also if they're able to assist you to comply with the new Ecodesign regulation.

53:04 - What the product passport includes.

55:18 - Advice for you if you're selling into the EU now.

59:03 - Wrapping up.

 

Related content...

 

Get in touch with us

 

Subscribe to the podcast 

There are more episodes to come, so remember to subscribe! You can do so in your favorite podcast apps here and don't forget to give us a 5-star rating, please:

In this episode...

When designing a new electronic product do you start with the PCB or enclosure? For example, some industrial designers might tell you to start with the enclosure, but this may not be suitable for every project.

So to get to the bottom of this, Adrian caught up with our head of New Product Development, Andrew Amirnovin, to get his opinion on which comes first and a list of steps you can follow to help make the decision for your product.

 

Show Sections

00:00 - Greetings and introducing the topic

01:53 - Enclosure or PCB design first?

There is no steadfast rule and it really depends on the product, the important point is to work out which direction YOU need to go in.

04:52 - 5 elements that will help you evaluate which you should design first.

Making sure that you have the following 5 elements will help you make the right decision about whether to design the PCB or enclosure first:

05:37 - 1. Create a Product Requirements Document (PRD).

06:41 - 2. Industrial Design.

08:32 - 3. Product Functionality.

10:05 - 4. Bill of Materials.

10:42 - 5. Competitor analysis and customer feedback.

12:08 - Department heads meet and discuss all of the above in order to make the best decision for their project.

15:50 - Wrapping up.

 

Related content...

 

Get in touch with us

 

Subscribe to the podcast 

There are more episodes to come, so remember to subscribe! You can do so in your favorite podcast apps here and don't forget to give us a 5-star rating, please:

In this episode...

Renaud and Adrian investigate what China's current politics might mean for manufacturers with a supply chain there and if 'Zero China' is realistic or even possible. They also talk about minimizing supply chain disruption by following a China +1/many strategy, how to approach doing this, and suitable countries to look at. Finally, they gaze into the crystal ball and make some predictions about how worried importers with Chinese suppliers should be right now given everything that is going on in the world and China politically.

 

Show Sections

00:00 - Greetings and introducing the topic: Zero China.

01:52 - What is Zero China?

03:14 - Looking back in history at the origins of the 'China + 1' approach.

04:57 - Garment companies: early adopters of a diversified supply chain.

07:34 - After 2015 politics started changing in China...spurring businesses to adopt China+1/many policies.

18:29 - Looking at Apple as an example.

27:46 - How about SMEs with manufacturing in China? What options do they have now?

35:32 - How about pursuing Zero-China?

43:51 - Should Western companies with Chinese supply chains right now be panicking?

48:02 - Wrapping up.

 

Related content...

 

Get in touch with us

 

Subscribe to the podcast 

There are more episodes to come, so remember to subscribe! You can do so in your favorite podcast apps here and don't forget to give us a 5-star rating, please:

In this episode...

Renaud shares 9 ways that importers who are using overseas suppliers to manufacture their products can save money.

Today, more than ever, cost-cutting is important for people at home and in business. Material costs, shipping, and energy costs are all rising, putting the squeeze on importers' profits.

So if there are ways that you can get your products made and delivered and shave the costs somehow, they're sure to be welcome. You'll learn how to reduce costs by sourcing great manufacturers, reducing risks during product design and development, reshoring or near-shoring production, optimizing the product inspections you're doing, and much much more!

 

Show Sections

00:00 - Greetings.

00:41 - Pre-chat: Our team member's story when she ended up in a quarantine hospital in China.

This episode can be heard here and real photos of the conditions are included: Travel To China In 2022 – Don’t Test Positive!

02:48 - Today's topic: 9 Ways for importers to save money.

03:29 - 1. Avoid big problems on the manufacturing & transportation side.

08:18 - 2. Avoid big problems on the distribution side.

14:04 - 3. Re-engineer your products.

21:42 - 4. Place larger orders with fewer key suppliers to benefit from lower pricing.

23:17 - 5. Use competition among your suppliers to drive down prices.

26:08 - 6. Avoid buying via a trading company if they don't add value that warrants the extra cost (in most cases).

29:49 - 7. Relocate manufacturing.

31:51 - 8. Internalize manufacturing (DIY).

36:21 - 9. Spend money more wisely on inspections, testing, etc.

41:35 - Wrapping up.

 

Related content...

 

Get in touch with us

 

Subscribe to the podcast 

There are more episodes to come, so remember to subscribe! You can do so in your favorite podcast apps here and don't forget to give us a 5-star rating, please:

October 14, 2022

What is ”Quality?”

In this episode...

Renaud is back with Adrian this time and they're discussing the concept of quality.

You'll learn the difference between 'Little and Big Q,' why customer expectations matter, and how to drive quality improvement with your suppliers.

Importers know that quality is important, but are you taking a holistic view that can improve product quality as early as the design stage rather than quibbling over defective pieces with your supplier after production is over? After listening to this episode, you'll want to!

 

Show Sections

00:00 - Greetings and Renaud's first in-person presentation in 3 years (!) at the Global Sources show in Hong Kong.

You can rewatch Renaud's presentation about how to find the RIGHT suppliers on the Sofeast LinkedIn page 👀 

03:27 - Today's topic: What is Quality?

04:42 - 'Little q' quality.

09:45 - 'Big Q' quality.

11:38 - Deming's Total Quality Management principles.

13:36 - Juran: A smart definition of quality.

18:59 - Getting away from 'Little q' quality.

20:35 - Customer quality expectations differ from product category to product category.

23:40 - David Garvin's book: Managing Quality.

35:57 - Summary about quality.

38:40 - Wrapping up.

 

Related content...

 

Get in touch with us

 

Subscribe to the podcast 

There are more episodes to come, so remember to subscribe! You can do so in your favorite podcast apps here and don't forget to give us a 5-star rating, please:

In this episode...

Adrian is here with our head of supply chain management live from her Chinese quarantine hotel, discussing what it takes to visit China as of October 11th 2022...a perfect topic for you if you'd like to visit China on business soon.

She recently travelled back to China from Europe and explains the various hoops you need to jump through to get into China, what to expect if you test positive for Covid (as she, unfortunately, did), and some tips on how to minimize your risks of anything untoward happening.

If you've been planning on visiting China this episode gives you some real truths about how complex it can be, so buckle up...her experience is a bit of a shock! 🙈

 

Get in touch with us

 

Subscribe to the podcast 

There are more episodes to come, so remember to subscribe! You can do so in your favorite podcast apps here and don't forget to give us a 5-star rating, please:

Load more

Podbean App

Play this podcast on Podbean App