DirecSource Expands Global Sourcing Series

Issues Educational Seminar on How To Help Companies Choose the Right Factory.

ANNISTON, AL. - DirecSource, (www.direcsource.com) a leading supply chain solutions provider, has launched the second episode in its Global Sourcing Series, which helps brands shore up their supply chain.

The latest installment helps companies through the process of selecting the right factory for their product line. The educational series is designed to helping companies look for signs that may point towards factories that are:

•On the verge of bankruptcy
•Prone to quality issues
•Have a history of late deliveries
•May have a history of humanity or environmental issues

With more than 200,000 factories in China alone – each of which can show you glossy brochures and slick showrooms - how do you find one that will provide you the service ad quality you expect and that your customers demand.

“When DirecSource aligns its customers with a factory there are a wide range of things that we consider for each customer,” said Ed Ring, COO of DirecSource. But in each case, Ring notes there are certain questions that must be addressed.

Among the topics discussed in the series are five key elements that must be considered and weighed in each factory selection process.

1. Core Competencies
Narrow your search by focusing on factories that make the same type of products you're making. Seek out factories that work with similar raw materials, serve similar verticals and are familiar with market expectations. Aligning your business appropriately can help to avoid unexpected pitfalls, and also provide access to unique expertise. A factory visit is highly recommended.

2. Factory Health
As fast as new factories are opening, China is full of empty buildings that were until recently making product for brands just like yours. Typically, when a factory closes it happens quickly and with little or no advance notice. Ask for referrals and look for a history of successful relationships. Be aware, some factories may working at capacity or are over capacity. How long did it take for them to respond back to you? All of these things must be considered when looking to make the type of commitment you're about to make.

3. Social Responsibility
Times are changing and most factories have social responsibility policies that they adhere to. What is their policy? Have any violations been reported at this factory in the past? As large, established brands like Apple have recently discovered, entering into a relationship with a factory that violates social standards can have a dramatic impact on your brands image.

4. Facilities
Check for the obvious. Is the plant well lit, are the facilities clean? Is the equipment up to standards? Do they utilize technology? All these factors can be a great indicator of the type of plant you are considering. There are too many choices available and so many capable factories that have solid track records. If something doesn't feel right there is probably a good reason why.

5. Location, Location, Location!
Where you look for a factory is just as important as what you're looking for in a factory. Labor is significantly less the further inland you travel, but transportation costs are significantly higher. Larger items may be cheaper to make inland - but the time and cost of transporting them out to major shipping will often negate any cost savings. Bulk items, on the other hand, where proper forecasting is involved, may make more sense for an inland factory

Most traditional agents don't have offices inland and end up managing by phone - no different than if you were in New York trying to manage a plant in Texas. As a result, bad habits are often developed because many factories know they are not going to be visited so deadlines may be extended and quality may drop.

To read the entire Global Sourcing Series, and receive a free evaluation click here. To learn more about DirecSource, please visit www.direcsource.com


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