Warnings: production issues before CNY
The Chinese New Year (CNY) 2015 is officially celebrated from February 18th to 24th, 2015. These dates mark the end of the year of the horse and the beginning of the year of the goat. It will be hard to find a single worker in a factory. Parts of Shenzhen convert into ghost towns. Before and after the golden week, production issues galore: defect rates soar, deadlines slip by weeks and suppliers become unresponsive.
Why are there production issues before CNY?
In short, everyone tries to finish their work as quickly as possible, and cutting corners becomes common practice and the main reasons for production issues before CNY. Overtime and working on weekends are ubiquitous. The Chinese government even declares Sunday, February 15th as a working day. During the holiday, all is shut down.
When is the hot phase around CNY?
The hot phase of production usually commences in January. Factories are working at 100% of their capacity or higher. Ships that leave the harbor before February 18th are safe however the space in those ships are usually booked well in advance. Anything else may be stuck in China for one or several weeks.
How to prevent for production issues before CNY?
First, anticipate production issues before CNY by working out a feasible production schedule with the suppliers, giving some leeway for delays. Penalty clauses may be helpful but ensure to focus on specifications and quality expectations, too.
Second, double check on the production schedule by performing inspections during production. This is very important to keep the pressure up, both for quality and delivery date.
Third, preshipment inspections are always a must. Since cutting corners is very frequent in the hot period before CNY, increasing the sample size is advisable.
Read more about national holidays and production issues in China
Remember to congratulate your suppliers: Gong Xi Fa Cai (mandarin) or Kong Hei Fat Choi (cantonese)!
And you: all do you avoid production issues before CNY?