I have manufacturing problems in China where do I start?

When first starting as an Engineer in a manufacturing plant I worked in Launch. Launch was the double-ended s**t stick that held no thanks. When an issue occurred, engineering teams suggested that it was manufacturing, manufacturing teams suggesting the design was to blame. It taught me some valuable lessons, one being able to answer the question “I have manufacturing problems in China where to start”. Being stuck in between two teams that wanted to get to a solution yet wanted to blame each other was a good way to develop root cause skills.

I have manufacturing problems in China where to start?

Manufacturing issues happen worldwide. China gets a bad wrap when it comes to manufacturing issues and its not totally a true representation of the situation on the ground.

When manufacturing is competitive as it is in the Chinese manufacturing market, there is a race to the bottom mentality.

This is usually driven by consumer sentiment. Cheap products, usually come at a price, and that price is quality. But the two don’t necessarily have to go hand in hand. You can gain a cost-effective product at quality. Let’s find out how:

I have seen manufacturing issues worldwide and while yes, some of these issues are new issues, the majority are repeat failures caused by a breakdown in robust quality procedures.

The hardest step in this process is identifying the problem. 

What is the root cause of my problems and how do I find it?

Let’s say we have a problem. You can see the problem, you know its there, its repeatable or intermittent. It’s frustrating to know there is an issue, but what tools are at my disposal?

Let’s talk like the component is given a name. Let’s say for example the item is named Y. 

Y is a function of many processes of input. Many factors influence the raw inputs in a process to get to a point where Y is produced, Y is the end product.

If we have an issue with the output of a process that makes Y, then we need to take a look at that process upstream.

For argument’s sake, those processes are called X. The factors in the process: lets label as f. The equation can be therefore expressed as:


When we have a problem with Y we need to go back and look at the key X’s that are affecting Y. 

By knowing which X’s impact upon Y then you can start to control the factors of X’s to obtain the Y you want.

By knowing and understanding the above you can start to move onto prevention

But how can we get there?

Sorry people… Another Anagram. 


1. Define

2. Measure

3. Analyse

4. Improve 

5. Control

We will go into these topics in a later first we need to map out the process to determine where the issue is happening. 

We discussed this in our previous blog post here: 

How to successfully map processes in Chinese Manufacturing

Deal With Quality, Not Just Quantity

The only 100% sure-fire way to ensure you are dealing with quality in Chinese factories is to have someone on the ground, on your side. Batting for your team. A team player who not only knows how to capture and report out but a player that can hold those suppliers to account in the event of quality issues.

Here at Merchsprout, we do just that, we offer you the ability to save time and money by doing the hard work for you. We offer several services that allow you to remotely oversee operations.

If you want to learn more about how we do what we do and the services we offer, have a look here.

Source Chinese Products Without Going China

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Dealing Remotely Is Very Much A Possibility, Have The Right Team Members On Your Side

Source Chinese Products Without Going to China is not only a possibility it’s relatively easy when you have the right team on your side. We are the right team for Sourcing, Auditing and Quality control.