SOURCING IN CHINA

In spite of rising manufacturing costs, China remains the destination of choice for many US & Canadian companies who wish to keep their production or finished goods costs at a minimum and gain greater market share at home. This will likely be the case for many years to come because of China's skilled labor pool, its state-of-the-art technology and delivery capabilities and the relatively favorable margins it still offers. Yet it has never been more difficult to do business in China than it is now. Wider government regulation of light industry, new labor laws, RMB valuation, nationalism - these are just some of the obstacles that US & Canadian companies face nowadays when they make product in China. Companies, therefore, need to improve their understanding of China and their supply chain within China in order to retain their competitive edge at home.

WHAT I DO

I provide comprehensive supply chain support services to small and medium sized US & Canadian consumer goods companies that do not have the resources to maintain a presence in China. This includes on-the-ground supervision of production, QC, sourcing, management of information flow, sampling and trade shows. I have worked extensively with vendors in China and SE Asia over the years, including a seven year stint in Shanghai, and I am proficient in Mandarin Chinese. For more about me please see the "About Me" page.

THE KIND OF COMPANY I CAN HELP: TWO SCENARIOS

A small company in Ann Arbor, MI. has a popular line of kitchen soft goods. The company has one supplier in Dongguan, China making their product but costs keep rising while product quality is inconsistent. The company realizes that it must find alternative suppliers in order to maintain quality and margins. The company would also like to source more product in China because it has identified a niche market for its line at home. Yet no one in the Ann Arbor office speaks Chinese or has spent any length of time in China, and the company's management does not know how to extend its reach in China.

A four-year-old decorative accessories company in Toronto has a large order from a nationally recognized high-end retailer. The order could put the Toronto company on the map, but the Key Accounts Sales Manager is apprehensive because some of the samples from China have not been made to specification. She is also worried because the communication with the vendor has been slow and incomplete. As the production date nears, she is not confident in what the vendor will load into the container. She thinks it would be a good idea for someone to go to China to oversee production. However, no one in the company knows much about China and the idea of sending someone over to spend two weeks at a rural factory is impractical.

THE EAST ASIA COMPANY


I established The East Asia Company in Tokyo in November, 2010 because I had a vision to help small and medium-sized business owners who want to do business in China but who lack the time and resources to spend time there.

The East Asia Company takes its name from the most famous trading company of them all, The East India Company. Formed in London in the late 16th Century, The East India Company dominated the China trade and, by the early 18th Century, was the largest company in the World. The East India Company sourced a wide range of commodities in China, including silk, inexpensive porcelain and tea, and it allowed British subjects to enjoy a standard of living they had not known before. It was the Wal-Mart of its day. Anyone who does business in China today pays homage to The East India Company.