Happy New Year! We here in the U.S. are coming off of our holiday season and ready to get back to work in 2016 and we know our global partners have been patient with us during these last two weeks. Now, it’s our turn.
It’s no big secret that China is a serious player in global manufacturing. Many manufacturers receive critical parts and supplies from partner companies in China. Sometimes, U.S. project managers forget to factor in the manufacturing shutdown that happens for about two to three weeks after Chinese New Year. With Chinese New Year occurring on Monday, February 8 this year, it’s important to start planning to keep the major manufacturing shutdowns from affecting your manufacturing process.
1. Place your orders now if you haven’t already! If you have critical components that you’ll need any time in February and March, get those orders in now. Be sure that you stipulate that all items should ship prior to February 8. Many workers begin leaving the factories as early as February 1 to travel to be with their families for the holiday.
2. Find local companies to handle your manufacturing needs. Perhaps there is a U.S. company that can effectively and efficiently produce these components for you. When you factor in time and shipping, there may even be a cost-saving component you hadn’t considered. Even if you don’t use the local companies for all your needs, they may be able to assist you during the February shutdowns into China.
3. Work with the sales departments with your partners in China. Be sure that they understand the ebb and flow of your product needs so that they can help you to prepare for the production shutdown in February.
As always, the supply chain has a trickle-down effect. If any one of your manufacturing partners experiences delays due to the Chinese New Year, it could affect your deadlines. Be sure to communicate regularly with all of your supply chain to ensure that everything remains on schedule not only during Chinese New Year but throughout the year.
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