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Strategies & Experiences E-mail
Featured - Business
Written by David A. Dayton
I had an interesting experience (interesting, as in: I learned a lot and didn’t get screwed) today with a factory that is working with us on a couple of projects. Basically the owners and the manager came to talk with me about the fact that we are “too strict” on our quality standards and the high number of rejected products is costing the factory more than what they originally budgeted for.

Of course there were lots of issues that they, as owners and not project managers, didn’t know about like their late delivery, dirty product, incorrect product, etc. Once we got rid of the self-serving manager and listed out all the details we were able to have a relative straightforward discussion. Of course there are still many little twists, turns and subtleties that are sometimes hard to pick up (in Cantonese/Mandarin).

The personal price we pay E-mail
Featured - Business
Written by David A. Dayton
I originally wrote this as a list of warning for those who are maybe a bit over excited about coming to work in China. I didn’t mean it as a bash, but just a list of things that are real. After I finished, I thought that it might be a tad derogatory, so I ingested a large amount of chocolate and wrote a second, more Pollyannaish version (and yes, you’ll be glad to know that “Pollyannaish” is an actual work that does indeed spell-check; the word “blog” does not, though. Go figure.).

This is not a rant or a complaint. It’s a real part of doing business in China and I list out the details for those who are expecting a move to China full time (more than a month) to be just like their previous quick trip to China for a factory visit. Nor is this all roses. It’s a real part of doing business in China and I list out the details for those who are dreading that a move to China full-time (more than a month) will be just like any other “business move” since all they’ve seen is China from quick factory visits.

Foreign Mental Blocks E-mail
Featured - Business
Written by David A. Dayton
While working in China is a completely new experience for most foreigners—and a completely foreign experience at that—there are some things that are, well, pretty easy to understand, I think, but that many new-to-China foreigners just don’t seem to get.  I’ve put together a list of issues that have stumped more than one foreign client in the past few years—and I made the list because all of these issues came up within the last month working with clients in the US during the current run-up to Chinese New Year.

1. Order your 2Q products in the 4Q of the previous year NOT in the 1Q, just weeks before you need it. Everyone knows that nothing gets done in the States the last week of each year.  From about Dec 23rd to Jan 2nd you can just count on 50% of every office staff being out on holiday or taking their accumulated sick days or just not working (because everyone else they need to talk with is on vacation).

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