China Manufacturing Decoded

Sofeast

Join Renaud Anjoran, Founder & CEO of Sofeast, in this podcast aimed at importers who develop their own products as he discusses the hottest topics and shares actionable tips for manufacturing in China & Asia today! WHO IS RENAUD? Renaud is a French ISO 9001 & 14001 certified lead auditor, ASQ certified Quality Engineer and Quality Manager who has been working in the Chinese manufacturing industry since 2005. He is the founder of the Sofeast group that has over 200 staff globally and offers services (QA, product development & engineering, project management, Supply Chain Management, product compliance, reliability testing), contract manufacturing, and 3PL fulfillment for importers and businesses who develop their own products and buyers from China & SE Asia. WHY LISTEN? We‘ll discuss interesting topics for anyone who develops and sources their products from Asian suppliers and will share Renaud‘s decades of manufacturing experience, as well as inviting guests from the industry to get a different viewpoint. Our goal is to help you get better results and end up with suppliers and products that exceed your expectations!

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How To Start Developing Your New Product (Feat. Liz Long)
6d ago
How To Start Developing Your New Product (Feat. Liz Long)
In this episode... Sofeast's CEO Renaud Anjoran is joined by special guest Liz Long, founder of Learn to Make a Product, a platform that supports customers to launch products, providing expert advice and assistance to set up their supply chains, develop products, and go through all of the steps needed to get to market! American new product manufacturing expert Liz shares her own experience, best practices, and tips in this episode to help entrepreneurs and SMEs get an understanding of the first steps required to start developing their own new products. If you've been sitting on your new product idea, hopefully, this episode will give you the impetus you need to start bringing it to market!   Show Sections 00:00 - Greetings and introducing the topic: How to start developing your new product 01:27 - Who is Liz Long? 04:00 - How could a would-be entrepreneur start out with their new project and how long before they see 'success' after launch? 06:20 - How long would it take to be ready to launch? 07:40 - Benefits of private labelling VS custom product development from scratch. 14:06 - Are there product types that have a lower barrier to entry or lower investment required to get to market quickly? 20:14 - What tools, sites, and resources are helpful to someone who is developing a new product? 26:38 - Finding the right supplier/factory and if working with an intermediary is OK? 31:42 - The dangers of being overly optimistic when starting. 34:47 - Wrapping up.   Related content... Sofeast can help with your NPI process and product launch, with our engineers and supply chain experts supporting you every step of the way with product engineering solutions for every need. What is the New Product Launch Process?NPD Project Constraints (3 common examples)What is an NRE Cost (Non-Recurring Engineering)?How to Calculate the Cash Needed to Prototype & Launch your New Product [Podcast]Ultimate Guide To Sourcing From China And Developing Your Suppliers [eBook]   Get in touch with us Connect with us on LinkedInSend us a tweet @sofeastPrefer Facebook? Check us out on FBContact us via Sofeast's contact pageSubscribe to our YouTube channel   Subscribe to the podcast  There are more episodes to come, so remember to subscribe! You can do so in your favorite podcast apps here and don't forget to give us a 5-star rating, please: Apple PodcastsSpotifyStitcherGoogle PodcastsTuneInAmazon PodcastsDeezeriHeartRADIOPlayerFMListen NotesPodcast AddictPodchaser
How To Start Developing Your New Product (Feat. Liz Long)
6d ago
How To Start Developing Your New Product (Feat. Liz Long)
In this episode... Sofeast's CEO Renaud Anjoran is joined by special guest Liz Long, founder of Learn to Make a Product, a platform that supports customers to launch products, providing expert advice and assistance to set up their supply chains, develop products, and go through all of the steps needed to get to market! American new product manufacturing expert Liz shares her own experience, best practices, and tips in this episode to help entrepreneurs and SMEs get an understanding of the first steps required to start developing their own new products. If you've been sitting on your new product idea, hopefully, this episode will give you the impetus you need to start bringing it to market!   Show Sections 00:00 - Greetings and introducing the topic: How to start developing your new product 01:27 - Who is Liz Long? 04:00 - How could a would-be entrepreneur start out with their new project and how long before they see 'success' after launch? 06:20 - How long would it take to be ready to launch? 07:40 - Benefits of private labelling VS custom product development from scratch. 14:06 - Are there product types that have a lower barrier to entry or lower investment required to get to market quickly? 20:14 - What tools, sites, and resources are helpful to someone who is developing a new product? 26:38 - Finding the right supplier/factory and if working with an intermediary is OK? 31:42 - The dangers of being overly optimistic when starting. 34:47 - Wrapping up.   Related content... Sofeast can help with your NPI process and product launch, with our engineers and supply chain experts supporting you every step of the way with product engineering solutions for every need. What is the New Product Launch Process?NPD Project Constraints (3 common examples)What is an NRE Cost (Non-Recurring Engineering)?How to Calculate the Cash Needed to Prototype & Launch your New Product [Podcast]Ultimate Guide To Sourcing From China And Developing Your Suppliers [eBook]   Get in touch with us Connect with us on LinkedInSend us a tweet @sofeastPrefer Facebook? Check us out on FBContact us via Sofeast's contact pageSubscribe to our YouTube channel   Subscribe to the podcast  There are more episodes to come, so remember to subscribe! You can do so in your favorite podcast apps here and don't forget to give us a 5-star rating, please: Apple PodcastsSpotifyStitcherGoogle PodcastsTuneInAmazon PodcastsDeezeriHeartRADIOPlayerFMListen NotesPodcast AddictPodchaser
8 Secrets for Successfully Implementing a dFMEA (Feat. Andrew Amirnovin)
Sep 15 2022
8 Secrets for Successfully Implementing a dFMEA (Feat. Andrew Amirnovin)
In this episode! The Sofeast Group's head of New Product Development, Andrew Amirnovin, shares his 8 secrets for successfully implementing a dFMEA (Design Failure Mode and Effects Analysis). This approach will help you de-risk your product design at an early stage, greatly reducing the chances of failure once the product reaches customers. Many businesses and staff members know what the dFMEA is, but not so many know the secrets to successfully implementing it so the preventive actions you come up with 'stick' and you enjoy long-lasting improvements.   Show Sections 00:00 - Greetings and introducing the topic: dFMEA. 01:29 - What is a dFMEA and its purpose? 04:40 - How to implement the dFMEA (10 steps included in the process)? 09:01 - The 8 secrets of dFMEA implementation that will set you up for success. 17:29 - Wrapping Up.   Related content... FMEA (Failure Modes and Effects Analysis) definitionRisk Priority Number (RPN) definitiondFMEA: 8 Secrets for a Successful Implementation3 Basic Process Improvement Tools: Flow Chart, FMEA, Control PlanNPI Process (New Product Introduction)Process FMEA: Template, Use Cases, and Examples   Get in touch with us Connect with us on LinkedInSend us a tweet @sofeastPrefer Facebook? Check us out on FBContact us via Sofeast's contact pageSubscribe to our YouTube channel   Subscribe to the podcast  There are more episodes to come, so remember to subscribe! You can do so in your favorite podcast apps here and don't forget to give us a 5-star rating, please: Apple PodcastsSpotifyStitcherGoogle PodcastsTuneInAmazon PodcastsDeezeriHeartRADIOPlayerFMListen NotesPodcast AddictPodchaser
What to do when a product inspection fails?
Sep 8 2022
What to do when a product inspection fails?
In this episode... Sofeast's CEO Renaud Anjoran and Adrian from the team are back and talking about something else you don't want to experience but may if you're unfortunate. A failed product inspection! Renaud will explain to you why the type of inspection matters, a step-by-step process to follow to fix problems highlighted by a product inspection report now, and how to put corrective and preventive actions in place to stop the problem from reoccurring in future production runs.   Show Sections 00:00 - Greetings & Topic: What happens if a product inspection is failed? 01:56 - What kind of inspection has been failed? 03:42 - Actions you need to take to fix the problem/s now if a final inspection has been failed. 04:10 - 1. Insist that the manufacturer does NOT ship anything until the matter has been investigated and settled. 05:57 - 2. Examine your quality standard, the situation found by the inspector, and what the cause of the gap between them is. 17:56 - 3. Make the right people at the factory aware of the inspection report in a neutral manner to get their cooperation.  20:43 - 4. Get the manufacturer to fix an issue. 25:12 - 5. Order another inspection before shipment to remove doubt. 26:14 - Preventing the same problem from occurring again in future. 32:54 - In summary.   Related content... Sofeast offers an incredibly wide range of product inspections throughout the manufacturing cycle for you to take advantage of across East, SE, and South Asia.Use a Corrective Action Plan after a Failed InspectionHow To Fill Out an 8D Report and Fix a Problem in a FactoryFixing Product Quality Issues: MFG vs. Product Design Causes   Get in touch with us Connect with us on LinkedInSend us a tweet @sofeastPrefer Facebook? Check us out on FBContact us via Sofeast's contact pageSubscribe to our YouTube channel   Subscribe to the podcast  There are more episodes to come, so remember to subscribe! You can do so in your favorite podcast apps here and don't forget to give us a 5-star rating, please: Apple PodcastsSpotifyStitcherGoogle PodcastsTuneInAmazon PodcastsDeezeriHeartRADIOPlayerFMListen NotesPodcast AddictPodchaser
Calculating the Cash Needed to Prototype and Launch your New Product
Sep 1 2022
Calculating the Cash Needed to Prototype and Launch your New Product
In this episode... Sofeast's CEO Renaud Anjoran and Adrian kick off the episode by talking about Hong Kong's new and improved immigration and Covid procedures and the heatwaves and droughts in China that have been affecting manufacturing there. The main topic is getting to grips with is calculating how much money is required for prototyping and then launching your new product - a popular question for many entrepreneurs and SMEs who aim to bring their new product concept to market!   Show Sections 00:00 - Greetings. 00:37 - How visiting Hong Kong in August 2022 has become easier. 04:20 - What effects are the heatwave and drought in China, especially in the Western provinces of Sichuan and Chongqing, having on manufacturing? 09:13 - The psychological side of launching a new product and how ambition affects a product launch. 14:46 - What are the finance numbers involved? What's your investment required to be ready for manufacturing (NRE costs)? How much is the unit cost going to be? What will the selling price be? 22:59 - What's included in these costs? (action & item breakdown) NRE costsTotal landed cost per unit (production & shipping cost)32:39 - Why do many products end up being sold at a loss? 35:06 - Other 'hidden issues' that don't always show up in the calculations. 37:39 - In summary.   Related content... Sofeast can support you when bringing your new product to market in almost all aspects discussed in this episode, for instance, select our NPI support solutionExplainer: Hong Kong’s ‘3+4’ Covid-19 hotel quarantine arrangements for international arrivalsChina drought causes Yangtze to dry up, sparking shortage of hydropowerNew Product Launch ProcessWhat Are Your Non-Recurring Engineering Costs for Production in China?Getting To Grips With Non-Recurring Engineering Costs (NRE) [Podcast]How to calculate landed costDangers of Amortizing Development Costs in the Production Price   Get in touch with us Connect with us on LinkedInSend us a tweet @sofeastPrefer Facebook? Check us out on FBContact us via Sofeast's contact pageSubscribe to our YouTube channel   Subscribe to the podcast  There are more episodes to come, so remember to subscribe! You can do so in your favorite podcast apps here and don't forget to give us a 5-star rating, please: Apple PodcastsSpotifyStitcherGoogle PodcastsTuneInAmazon PodcastsDeezeriHeartRADIOPlayerFMListen NotesPodcast AddictPodchaser
How To Do A Product Failure Analysis?
Aug 26 2022
How To Do A Product Failure Analysis?
In this episode... Sofeast's CEO Renaud Anjoran and Adrian from the team discuss product failure analysis. Hopefully, you never need to do one, but if you are hit with quality, reliability, or safety problems with your product during development or, more likely, in the field, it may be necessary to help you decide what to do. This is especially important if problems are severe enough to warrant a recall. Renaud explains what a failure analysis is, when it may be required, and the FA methodology you can follow step-by-step with required actions per step.   Show Sections 00:00 - Greetings 00:45 - Today's topic: Product failure analysis. 01:18 - The 'firefighting' or 'scattershot' approach to problem-solving by many factories that doesn't work well. What kinds of problems warrant performing a failure analysis? Failure analysis may be required in these 2 scenarios: 06:27 - Failure analysis during new product development  09:41 - Failure analysis after products have been shipped 19:02 - What failure analysis methodology could you follow? 0: Who will work on this analysis and what are the timelines and project context? Gather information Document any information about the failure First analysis Deeper analysis Containment, if needed Corrective action plan Corrective action implementation & follow-up 35:45 - Wrap-up.   Related content... Get help from Sofeast's experienced product engineers to perform your product failure analysis and follow-up testing if required.Missing Important Tasks During DVT Could Result In Damaging Product Recalls! [Podcast] - Philips medical device recall example.Investigating the Causes of Product Failure and Improving DesignWhy Product Safety, Quality, and Reliability Are Tightly LinkedProduct Reliability Testing | 7 FAQs8D Problem Solving ProcessCorrective action plan + template   Get in touch with us Connect with us on LinkedInSend us a tweet @sofeastPrefer Facebook? Check us out on FBContact us via Sofeast's contact pageSubscribe to our YouTube channel   Subscribe to the podcast  There are more episodes to come, so remember to subscribe! You can do so in your favorite podcast apps here and don't forget to give us a 5-star rating, please: Apple PodcastsSpotifyStitcherGoogle PodcastsTuneInAmazon PodcastsDeezeriHeartRADIOPlayerFMListen NotesPodcast AddictPodchaser
How DVT & PVT Mistakes Result In Poor Quality Or Even Unsafe Products!
Aug 18 2022
How DVT & PVT Mistakes Result In Poor Quality Or Even Unsafe Products!
In this episode... The Sofeast Group's head of New Product Development, Andrew Amirnovin, is back on the pod with Adrian from the team and are discussing what happens if mistakes are made during the DVT and PVT phases of NPI process. Electronics giant Philips has been in the news due to a huge recall of ventilators and sleep apnea machines that have, unfortunately, caused deaths and injuries. This got us to thinking: What could have caused such a problem to make it into the production of such sensitive medical devices, and what can we learn from this example? Andrew explains that issues like this likely originate in the DVT stage of the NPI process, talks about what activities and testing are included, why they're necessary for your new product launch project and talks about how DVT issues spill over into PVT and then into mass production, too. If you're bringing a new product to market, this story demonstrates why following a detailed new product introduction process that leaves no stone unturned when trying to find potential risks is crucial for manufacturing safe, high-quality, and reliable products.   Show Sections 00:00 - Greetings, introducing the topic: DVT & PVT, and activities during each NPI phase that are important to bring a successful product to market. 01:44 - What do the acronyms EVT/DVT/PVT mean? 04:42 - The risks of rushing into production without completing DVT thoroughly. 07:43 - The huge Philips medical device recall happening in Summer '22. 11:58 - What happens during DVT to help us avoid product risks and recalls? 16:39 - The need for a solid reliability growth plan. 19:44 - The temptation to rush into production and miss DVT steps. 27:25 - What a reliability engineer looks out for when devising the reliability test plan and use cases. 31:42 - What is PVT and why can it also cause a lot of product issues after production if steps are missed? 40:19 - Wrap up.   Related content... Philips parts ways with CEO in midst of massive recallPhilips recalls ventilators, sleep apnea machines due to health risksListen to The NPI Process: Trouble Awaits If You Skip Its Steps! Watch a number of videos we created about the NPI processYou NEED to do product qualification BEFORE mass production!The NPI Process You Need To Follow For Successful ManufacturingGet help from Sofeast to devise and implement your reliability and durability testing and to help bring your new product to market using our tried-and-tested NPI process   Get in touch with us Connect with us on LinkedInSend us a tweet @sofeastPrefer Facebook? Check us out on FBContact us via Sofeast's contact pageSubscribe to our YouTube channel   Subscribe to the podcast  There are more episodes to come, so remember to subscribe! You can do so in your favorite podcast apps here and don't forget to give us a 5-star rating, please: Apple PodcastsSpotifyStitcherGoogle PodcastsTuneInAmazon PodcastsDeezeriHeartRADIOPlayerFMListen NotesPodcast AddictPodchaser
How To Optimize QC Inspections & Use Preventive Measures To Get Better Quality Results?
Aug 12 2022
How To Optimize QC Inspections & Use Preventive Measures To Get Better Quality Results?
In this episode... Sofeast's podcasting duo, our CEO Renaud Anjoran and Adrian from the team are back to talk about strategies that importers who are placing large and valuable orders with their overseas manufacturers and performing a lot of product inspections can follow to optimize the inspection schedule to get better results and, perhaps, reduce costs without increasing risks, and upstream preventive measures that can be put in place to improve quality before and during production that reduce the need for as many inspections in the first place. SMEs and larger companies that regularly do a lot of business with Asian manufacturers could benefit from cost and time savings and reduced risks with this advice.   Show Sections 00:00 - Greetings 01:05 - Changes to Hong Kong Covid quarantine and news of Covid lockdowns in Yiwu (although not too severe). 11:02 - Today's topic: How to optimize QC inspections and get better results. Why would a business seek to do this? 16:22 - Adjusting inspection type, severity, and regularity could be a helpful cost-saving exercise. 18:26 - What does a business need to prepare before starting an optimization initiative like this? 23:38 - What information should we gather from the supplier's side? 35:35 - Which kinds of importers this upstream product development and process optimization is more relevant to? 37:03 - Delegating inspections to the supplier over time (without raising risks, hopefully). 41:56 - Wrap-up.   Related content... Get a quotation from Sofeast for help from our quality engineers and QA team who will assess your situation and find ways to make the optimizations discussed here: QA/QC Inspection Optimization ServicesRead more about why Supplier Self-Inspections Are Getting More Popular in ChinaLearn about Switching from Acceptance Sampling to Process ControlHK is cutting hotel quarantine to 3 days, plus 4 days medical surveillanceHow To Switch To A Newer, Better Chinese Manufacturer? [eBook]Why you need a good quality standardExplore boundary/limit samplesRead The New Product Introduction Process Guide for Hardware StartupsListen to The NPI Process: Trouble Awaits If You Skip Its Steps!   Get in touch with us Connect with us on LinkedInSend us a tweet @sofeastPrefer Facebook? Check us out on FBContact us via Sofeast's contact pageSubscribe to our YouTube channel   Subscribe to the podcast  There are more episodes to come, so remember to subscribe! You can do so in your favorite podcast apps here and don't forget to give us a 5-star rating, please: Apple PodcastsSpotifyStitcherGoogle PodcastsTuneInAmazon PodcastsDeezeriHeartRADIOPlayerFMListen NotesPodcast AddictPodchaser
Your Product Return Rate & How To Control It?
Aug 5 2022
Your Product Return Rate & How To Control It?
In this episode... The Sofeast Group's head of New Product Development, Andrew Amirnovin, joins Adrian once again to discuss what the product return rate is and how to reduce yours. He provides a checklist of activities you can take during development to avoid issues that result in returns, and, should the worst happen and you start receiving returns on products that have been sold already, he also gives you a series of activities to follow to triage and fix the problems. Don't miss it, this information could save you a LOT of effort, money, and damage to your reputation!   Show Sections 00:00 - Greetings, introducing the topic. 01:17 - Andrew introduces his role as new product development head in the Sofeast group. 02:58 - What is the product return rate? 05:07 - How return rates vary depending on product type. 06:45 - What are the 5 main causes of product returns? 10:37 - 7 Steps you can take to ensure you get as low a return rate as possible BEFORE the product is sold. 25:51 - If a product you’re already selling starts getting returned, what can you do? (6 steps) 33:00 - Some famous product recalls. 36:10 - The role of the NPI process. 38:27 - Wrap up.   Related content... Our foreign-owned and managed contract manufacturing subsidiary Agilian Technology can help you develop and mass produce your new product in China.Read The New Product Introduction Process Guide for Hardware StartupsWatch New Product Introduction Process Walkthrough (For New Electronic Products)Listen to The NPI Process: Trouble Awaits If You Skip Its Steps! Watch a number of videos we created about the NPI processThe Takata airbag scandal   Get in touch with us Connect with us on LinkedInSend us a tweet @sofeastPrefer Facebook? Check us out on FBContact us via Sofeast's contact pageSubscribe to our YouTube channel   Subscribe to the podcast  There are more episodes to come, so remember to subscribe! You can do so in your favorite podcast apps here and don't forget to give us a 5-star rating, please: Apple PodcastsSpotifyStitcherGoogle PodcastsTuneInAmazon PodcastsDeezeriHeartRADIOPlayerFMListen NotesPodcast AddictPodchaser
Should You Buy Parts for Mass Production from Taobao?
Jul 28 2022
Should You Buy Parts for Mass Production from Taobao?
In this episode... Sofeast's CEO Renaud Anjoran is joined by Adrian from the team to discuss the dangers you face if buying parts for your product's mass production from Taobao. Taobao is a convenient Chinese online marketplace where you can purchase almost anything, usually at a decent price. If you can jump onto the site and find a vendor and quickly place an order, where's the harm in that? This bypasses a secure sourcing process and impacts your product's quality, safety, and compliance negatively...here's why.   Show Sections 00:00 - Greetings + why not to take checked baggage on flights within Europe + the UK's 2-day heatwave 😂  01:59 - Today's topic: Why not to buy parts from Taobao to use in mass production? 02:40 - What is Taobao? 10:36 - Scams and other issues on Taobao. 11:32 - Why buying parts from Taobao for use in early proof-of-concept prototypes is fine. 13:00 - More advanced prototypes and mass production are not the same as proof-of-concept. 15:55 - 5 reasons why using Taobao parts for mass production is not a good idea. Batches may vary each time. The item on your BOM might suddenly be delisted. You buy subject to Taobao's terms and conditions. The vendor probably has little liability for performance or quality issues. They might not be a real company. 27:06 - Could your IP be at risk when dealing with Taobao vendors, and will you get the best price? 28:29 - You can't really pay and get an invoice (fapiao) that is needed for business purchases.  30:58 - The lack of transparency and control. 32:06 - Wrap-up.   Related content... If you really want to check out Taobao, visit their site here (just don't buy production parts!)Get help from Sofeast to source great suppliers and benefit from more stability and better prices.Read our 80+ page eBook: Ultimate Guide To Sourcing From China And Developing Your SuppliersLearn how to source your own suppliers in China by listening to our DIY Sourcing from China SeriesDoes your China factory sell your products on Taobao.com?How to complain about counterfeit/fakes on Taobao   Get in touch with us Connect with us on LinkedInSend us a tweet @sofeastPrefer Facebook? Check us out on FBContact us via Sofeast's contact pageSubscribe to our YouTube channel   Subscribe to the podcast  There are more episodes to come, so remember to subscribe! You can do so in your favorite podcast apps here and don't forget to give us a 5-star rating, please: Apple PodcastsSpotifyStitcherGoogle PodcastsTuneInAmazon PodcastsDeezeriHeartRADIOPlayerFMListen NotesPodcast AddictPodchaser
July ’22 Update on the Logistics situation in the USA (Feat. Marshall Taplits)
Jul 22 2022
July ’22 Update on the Logistics situation in the USA (Feat. Marshall Taplits)
In this episode... Sofeast's CEO Renaud Anjoran is joined again by US East-Coast supply chain and logistics expert, Marshall Taplits founder of Ship It Done. As we get to grips with the new reality of higher shipping and energy costs, delays, and war in Europe, Renaud asks: What is the logistics situation like now in the USA, what will it be like for the rest of 2022, and what might it be like a few years from now. They give their thoughts on cost drivers, near-shoring, the state of China and more, too. If you're interested in global logistics and/or are importing into the USA, this one's a must-listen!    Show Sections 00:00 - Greetings and introduction. 01:49 - Introducing our guest Marshall Taplits. Marshall gives his history and also introduces his business, US East Coast 3PL warehouse: Shipitdone.com and his new warehouse management system, 3PLMax.com. 04:53 - What is the logistics situation in the USA right now (July '22)? 11:25 - Has getting containers into and out of US ports improved recently? 15:15 - Has the change in legislation for truckers in California made a difference? 16:39 - Why energy, gasoline, and diesel costs are a key driver in trucking costs. 18:24 - What might the logistics situation in the USA be like for the rest of 2022 (July to December)? 21:57 - Focusing on China. 27:29 - How might the logistics situation in the USA be in 3 years' time? 33:13 - Have other countries taken a bite from China's business? 36:55 - Wrap-up.   Related content... Sea freight costs falling in summer ‘22. Too early to celebrate?The Impacts of Russia Sanctions on International Trade & LogisticsHow Do Logistics From China Work for Importers?Types of Incoterms [Guide]What’s Causing The USA’s Logistics Troubles? [Podcast]Logistics Management from Sofeast's supply chain management team - we support you by setting up and managing your shipping from suppliers in Asia to your location with acceptable costs and lead times   Get in touch with us Connect with us on LinkedInSend us a tweet @sofeastPrefer Facebook? Check us out on FBContact us via Sofeast's contact pageSubscribe to our YouTube channel   Subscribe to the podcast  There are more episodes to come, so remember to subscribe! You can do so in your favorite podcast apps here and don't forget to give us a 5-star rating, please: Apple PodcastsSpotifyStitcherGoogle PodcastsTuneInAmazon PodcastsDeezeriHeartRADIOPlayerFMListen NotesPodcast AddictPodchaser
How to keep your supplier’s costs under control? - Sourcing from China (Part 9)
Jul 14 2022
How to keep your supplier’s costs under control? - Sourcing from China (Part 9)
In this episode... We wrap up our mini-series of episodes on how to do your own sourcing from China today. Sofeast's CEO Renaud Anjoran has talked you through every stage of the sourcing process, from finding suitable suppliers, negotiating, getting your products manufactured, and building lasting relationships with them. The final topic focuses on improving existing supplier performance, in particular: How to keep their costs under control. If their costs are lower, your costs are lower...   By the way, this is part 9 of 9 of this mini-series, and if you want to go back and listen to every earlier part of this series check out the links below.   Show Sections 00:00 - Greetings 00:58 - Brief recap of last week's episode about the EU Ecodesign regulation You can listen to both parts on this topic here (Part 1) and here (Part 2). 04:31 - Why should we be concerned about our suppliers' costs? 07:45 - Who may be able to influence their supplier to undertake work to take control of costs. 10:28 - Using sourcing as a tool to control costs. How factory owners or key customers can get their/their supplier's costs under control? 12:48 - 1. You find out what is driving their costs by visiting. 15:47 - 2. Stop buying in large quantities and making large batches. 21:39 - How to make suggestions to the supplier that they will listen to. 26:34 - 3. Tackle manufacturing aspects that are hidden costs. 29:21 - 4. Find hidden office costs. 35:11 - How does India differ from China? 36:44 - Summarising keeping costs under control. 38:11 - Mini-series wrap-up.   Related content... Part 1: Good Fit, Sourcing, Vetting, & Backups [Podcast]Part 2: Negotiations, Terms, Leverage, & Quality Standards [Podcast]Part 3: Project Management & Checking Quality Early [Podcast]Part 4: Final Inspections [Podcast]Part 5: Building Rapport [Podcast]Part 6: Hands-on or hands-off buyer? [Podcast]Part 7: How To Develop Your Chinese Supplier? [Podcast]Part 8: How To Improve Quality From Your Supplier? [Podcast]Quality Assurance In China Or Vietnam For Beginners [eBook] 👈 Download for freeThe Sofeast group's own contract manufacturing subsidiary: Agilian Technology These resources will also help you understand how to build relationships with suppliers or improve (or end) those that you already have: Get help to find a good manufacturer in China with this free eBookWhen a relationship turns sour with a Chinese supplier And, if all else fails and you need to ditch your current supplier and switch to a new one... How To Switch To A Newer, Better Chinese Manufacturer? [eBook]   Get in touch with us Connect with us on LinkedInSend us a tweet @sofeastPrefer Facebook? Check us out on FBContact us via Sofeast's contact pageSubscribe to our YouTube channel   Subscribe to the podcast  There are more episodes to come, so remember to subscribe! You can do so in your favorite podcast apps here and don't forget to give us a 5-star rating, please: Apple PodcastsSpotifyStitcherGoogle PodcastsTuneInAmazon PodcastsDeezeriHeartRADIOPlayerFMListen NotesPodcast AddictPodchaser
How To Comply With The EU Ecodesign Regulation? (Part 2. Feat. Clive Greenwood)
Jul 8 2022
How To Comply With The EU Ecodesign Regulation? (Part 2. Feat. Clive Greenwood)
In this episode... Sofeast's CEO Renaud is joined again by Clive Greenwood of SMC GLOBAL Manufacturing Consultants, to continue discussing the EU Ecodesign for Sustainable Products Regulation that's going to have quite a significant effect on importers of products into the EU. In part 1 on this topic, they explained what the EU ESPR is and why it's something importers need to start preparing for now. Now, in part 2, they're going to talk you through how to comply with the regulation, providing some actionable advice to get you started.   Show Sections 00:00 - Greetings & Introduction to today's topic: EU Ecodesign Regulation. 02:26 - Why is product design important? 08:07 - The role of 'Repairability' and 'Maintainability.' 10:12 - The need to document your approach. 12:03 - How product designs will need to change according to the EU ESPR proposal [quotes]. 18:38 - Addressing 'Greenwashing.' 20:47 - Postmarket surveillance. 25:01 - Calculating energy consumption throughout the product lifecycle. 30:11 - Supply chain information will be transparent - suppliers who are more sustainable will be preferred. 34:37 - The example of garments and their supply chain. 37:58 - Detailed traceability & visibility over the supply chain - requirements. 43:18 - ESPR will evolve over time and cause headaches for importers... 46:23 - The key data you need to start collecting NOW. 48:13 - Will ESPR negatively impact SMEs more than large businesses? 52:36 - You have been warned!   Related content... What is the EU Ecodesign for Sustainable Products Regulation?The EU Ecodesign Regulation Is Coming, But Are You Prepared? (Part 1)We support clients to comply with ESPR, too, so if you're stuck or concerned Sofeast's experts can help you get control of your supply chain and become more sustainableREGULATION OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND OF THE COUNCIL (establishing a framework for setting ecodesign requirements for sustainable products and repealing Directive 2009/125/EC) - if you want to read the forthcoming regulation in full.Ecodesign for sustainable productsWhat is the EU Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD)?Sofeast can help you do a full background check on new (or existing) suppliers in AsiaWe can also source suppliers who provide transparent supply chain information to help you comply with EU demands   Get in touch with us Connect with us on LinkedInSend us a tweet @sofeastPrefer Facebook? Check us out on FBContact us via Sofeast's contact pageSubscribe to our YouTube channel   Subscribe to the podcast  There are more episodes to come, so remember to subscribe! You can do so in your favorite podcast apps here and don't forget to give us a 5-star rating, please: Apple PodcastsSpotifyStitcherGoogle PodcastsTuneInAmazon PodcastsDeezeriHeartRADIOPlayerFMListen NotesPodcast AddictPodchaser
How to Reduce The Risk Of Unauthorized Subcontracting?
Jul 1 2022
How to Reduce The Risk Of Unauthorized Subcontracting?
In this episode... Our CEO Renaud is back with Adrian and talks about a serious problem for buyers: unauthorized subcontracting. This is where the supplier you think is manufacturing your products, outsources the work to someone else that you have no knowledge of and haven't given permission to work on your products. This, obviously, is not a good situation...let's explore it in more detail.   Show Sections 00:00 - Greetings, catching up with Renaud, and some discussion about his India trip and the various content we created about it (check the links below). 04:13 - Introducing the topic: Unauthorized subcontracting. 05:04 - What is subcontracting/unauthorized subcontracting? 07:45 - Why this happens in China quite a lot and how it affects social audits. What problems does unauthorized subcontracting cause? 12:41 - Non-compliance.  13:41 - Poor quality. 17:51 - IP at risk. 19:26 - Products made in banned areas or staff where slave labor is a concern. How to reduce the risks of unauthorized subcontracting happening? 23:16 - 1. Factory data collection. 26:45 - 2. Plan to improve capacity and reduce delays. 32:40 - 3. Sign a manufacturing agreement with the supplier. 34:09 - 4. Give the supplier a pre-order confirmation. 35:57 - 5. Follow up on production. 36:38 - 6. Utilize unannounced audits. 41:14 - Extra: Travel to China in Summer 2022. 44:13 - Wrapping up.    Related content... How To Create A Valid Manufacturing Contract In China To Protect Your IPRead a whole series of blog posts about vetting Chinese suppliers to help you find a lower-risk supplierRenaud was interviewed about social audits in this news article - unauthorized subcontracting has a serious effect on theseGet help from Sofeast to source great suppliersAudit your supplier's processes with one of our process management audits in order to reduce the risks of them not coping and subcontractingSofeast project managers check on and manage your supplier to assure that the project is on track   Get in touch with us Connect with us on LinkedInSend us a tweet @sofeastPrefer Facebook? Check us out on FBContact us via Sofeast's contact pageSubscribe to our YouTube channel   Subscribe to the podcast  There are more episodes to come, so remember to subscribe! You can do so in your favorite podcast apps here and don't forget to give us a 5-star rating, please: Apple PodcastsSpotifyStitcherGoogle PodcastsTuneInAmazon PodcastsDeezeriHeartRADIOPlayerFMListen NotesPodcast AddictPodchaser
The One ’MUST DO’ Before Mass Producing Your New Product (Feat. Andrew Amirnovin)
Jun 24 2022
The One ’MUST DO’ Before Mass Producing Your New Product (Feat. Andrew Amirnovin)
In this episode... The Sofeast Group's head of New Product Development, Andrew Amirnovin, joins Adrian to talk about the process of getting a new product to market and, in particular, the one key thing you must do before you start mass production. You'll get a good insight into the different kinds of testing you need to do in order to get your product to market with low risks.   Show Sections 00:00 - Greetings, introducing Andrew and the topic. 02:25 - What's the difference between validation and verification? 05:59 - What MUST you do before you go into mass production? 13:00 - Is a qualified design and prototype a golden sample? 16:28 - Product qualification. 18:05 - Manufacturing line qualification. 21:02 - Compliance and regulatory qualification. 24: 33 - How to get started with product qualification? 27:40 - In summary.    Related content... Our foreign-owned and managed contract manufacturing subsidiary Agilian Technology can help you develop and mass produce your new product in China.Read The New Product Introduction Process Guide for Hardware StartupsWatch New Product Introduction Process Walkthrough (For New Electronic Products)Listen to The NPI Process: Trouble Awaits If You Skip Its Steps! Should I use a Golden Sample or Limit Samples?Watch a number of videos we created about the NPI process   Get in touch with us Connect with us on LinkedInSend us a tweet @sofeastPrefer Facebook? Check us out on FBContact us via Sofeast's contact pageSubscribe to our YouTube channel   Subscribe to the podcast  There are more episodes to come, so remember to subscribe! You can do so in your favorite podcast apps here and don't forget to give us a 5-star rating, please: Apple PodcastsSpotifyStitcherGoogle PodcastsTuneInAmazon PodcastsDeezeriHeartRADIOPlayerFMListen NotesPodcast AddictPodchaser
An Effective QA Program For New Electronic Products
Jun 17 2022
An Effective QA Program For New Electronic Products
In this episode... Our CEO Renaud and Adrian from the Sofeast team delve into what a great Quality Assurance program for new electronic products looks like, as new products come with a large number of unknown risks (there are many things that can go wrong in terms of components, firmware, testing, production processes, and more, which we'll get into). Controlling these risks has become harder for importers since Covid as it's not always possible to travel to China (and other Asian countries to a lesser extent) easily or at all, meaning that they were not able to oversee the development and manufacturing of their products increasing the risks of them going into production with problems. So, how to use local resources to do Quality Assurance activities to control those risks in your new electronic product, and what does a QA program for new electronics include?   Show Sections 00:00 - Greetings, mentioning Renaud's recent trip to India to check out component suppliers. 01:55 - Introducing the topic: Why Quality Assurance is particularly important for new electronics that have a lot of risks. Electronics QA Program 07:21 - Activities to do at the start of product development. 20:34 - Activities do when the design is frozen and we're transferring to manufacturing. 27:49 - Activities to do during mass production. 31:08 - Wrapping up.    Related content... Sofeast provides electronics QA programs for our clients - explore them & get a quotation for your project!Watch as Renaud walks you through a typical QA program in this videoRead The New Product Introduction Process Guide for Hardware StartupsWatch New Product Introduction Process Walkthrough (For New Electronic Products)Read What Is A Quality Assurance Plan?Listen to The NPI Process: Trouble Awaits If You Skip Its Steps!    Get in touch with us Connect with us on LinkedInSend us a tweet @sofeastPrefer Facebook? Check us out on FBContact us via Sofeast's contact pageSubscribe to our YouTube channel   Subscribe to the podcast  There are more episodes to come, so remember to subscribe! You can do so in your favorite podcast apps here and don't forget to give us a 5-star rating, please: Apple PodcastsSpotifyStitcherGoogle PodcastsTuneInAmazon PodcastsDeezeriHeartRADIOPlayerFMListen NotesPodcast AddictPodchaser
BONUS: Renaud Tours India, June ’22. Is it a good China-alternative?
Jun 13 2022
BONUS: Renaud Tours India, June ’22. Is it a good China-alternative?
In this episode... Renaud comes to you live from Chennai where he's been travelling around India for two weeks exploring a lot of different types of component suppliers. He reports back on what he's learnt on this visit, how India has been changing, and why there seem to be many reasons now to consider India as an alternative to China for, at least, some of your production. Renaud covers: Which areas he visited & regional differencesPolitical stabilityWhat types of suppliers could be alternatives to Chinese counterpartsManual Work VS AutomationWhere China still trumps India, for nowWho has already been moving to IndiaBenefits he found about dealing with factory owners and managers, and their operations, over those in ChinaIs India still let down by a lack of component suppliers for your supply chain? Sofeast does a lot of work in India, and some of our clients are asking about moving sourcing and production out of China to more stable countries. If you're thinking the same, this quick bonus episode will be very educational!   Related content... Read our blog posts about sourcing from IndiaPros and cons of sourcing products in India vs. ChinaManufacture in China, Vietnam, India, or Elsewhere? [Podcast]Our local team in India can provide new supplier identification to help you source great components and manufacturers there   Get in touch with us Connect with us on LinkedInSend us a tweet @sofeastPrefer Facebook? Check us out on FBContact us via Sofeast's contact pageSubscribe to our YouTube channel   Subscribe to the podcast  There are more episodes to come, so remember to subscribe! You can do so in your favorite podcast apps here and don't forget to give us a 5-star rating, please: Apple PodcastsSpotifyStitcherGoogle PodcastsTuneInAmazon PodcastsDeezeriHeartRADIOPlayerFMListen NotesPodcast AddictPodchaser
Increasing Visibility Over Your Supply Chain
Jun 2 2022
Increasing Visibility Over Your Supply Chain
In this episode... A common problem that buyers from China particularly suffer from is a lack of transparency and control over their supply chains. Do you know exactly who supplies your main supplier at all times? If the answer is no, this episode is for you, especially if you are worried about compliance, safety, quality, reliability, and the reputation of your business.  Sofeast CEO Renaud and Adrian from the team go over the risks of lacking visibility over your supply chain, why it's becoming even more important, and some best practices that will help you have more transparency and control.   Show Sections 00:00 - Greetings & Introduction to today's topic: how to increase visibility over your supply chain 03:05 - Does everyone know who's in their supply chain? 05:18 - Background: Regulations coming into action requiring more supply-chain visibility. 11:29 - Real examples of people we've worked with at Sofeast who suffered problems caused by a lack of visibility over their supply chains. 14:06 - Do Chinese suppliers often try to hide supply chain info and why? 19:18 - The drawbacks of NOT having visibility over your supply chain. You will suffer from more unwelcome surprises because if you don't have visibility, you don't have control. You are at risk of very bad PR. Product quality issues are probably going to more common. Production will be more inefficient. 31:19 - Best practices that will help you have better supply chain visibility. Tips if you're developing your own productsTips if you're buying products off-the-shelfConfirm that you're buying from a manufacturer rather than a trading companyHave a manufacturing agreement 38:18 - Wrapping up.  Related content... Get help to source suppliers and products from Sofeast8 Elements of a Low-Risk Supply Chain in China [Webinar]How To Push a Chinese or Vietnamese Supplier for Supply Chain TransparencyHow To Qualify A Contract Manufacturer Or Component Supplier [Podcast]Developing New Products? Which Suppliers Are The Right Fit For You?Have You Revised your Supply Chain Risk Analysis?6 Steps and 1 Key To Reduce Subcontracting Risks in China   Get in touch with us Connect with us on LinkedInSend us a tweet @sofeastPrefer Facebook? Check us out on FBContact us via Sofeast's contact pageSubscribe to our YouTube channel   Subscribe to the podcast  There are more episodes to come, so remember to subscribe! You can do so in your favorite podcast apps here and don't forget to give us a 5-star rating, please: Apple PodcastsSpotifyStitcherGoogle PodcastsTuneInAmazon PodcastsDeezeriHeartRADIOPlayerFMListen NotesPodcast AddictPodchaser
6 Tips to Improve your Supplier’s Quality - Sourcing from China (Part 8)
May 26 2022
6 Tips to Improve your Supplier’s Quality - Sourcing from China (Part 8)
In this episode... We’re diving back into our series of episodes on how to do your own sourcing from China, from finding suppliers, getting the products manufactured, and through to post-cooperation soft skills such as building rapport with them, following up on production, and today’s topic: Improving the product quality that you’re getting from your now current supplier with 6 tips and best practices from Sofeast's CEO Renaud Anjoran. Who doesn't want better product quality from existing manufacturers, right? By the way, this is part 8 of this series, and if you want to go back and listen to every earlier part of this series check out the links below.   Show Sections 00:00 - Greetings & Introduction 02:29 - Are product defects impossible to avoid? Some advice for getting towards zero defects (with low/no capital investment) 07:53 - The supplier needs to be incentivised to care about quality 10:54 - Tip 1: Beware of batch and queue 15:57 - Tip 2: Local management needs to build up a disciplined culture 21:06 - Tip 3: Getting operators to do some QC work 26:23 - Tip 4: Implement a usability engineering approach & mistake-proofing 31:35 - Tip 5: Clear work instructions & staff training 37:18 - Tip 6: Process controls 41:54 - Wrapping up.  Related content... Part 1: Good Fit, Sourcing, Vetting, & Backups [Podcast]Part 2: Negotiations, Terms, Leverage, & Quality Standards [Podcast]Part 3: Project Management & Checking Quality Early [Podcast]Part 4: Final Inspections [Podcast]Part 5: Building Rapport [Podcast]Part 6: Hands-on or hands-off buyer? [Podcast]Part 7: How To Develop Your Chinese Supplier? [Podcast]Quality Assurance In China Or Vietnam For Beginners [eBook] 👈 Download for freeMany more blog posts about qualityThe Sofeast group's own contract manufacturing subsidiary: Agilian Technology These resources will also help you understand how to build relationships with suppliers or improve (or end) those that you already have: Get help to find a good manufacturer in China with this free eBookWhen a relationship turns sour with a Chinese supplier And, if all else fails and you need to ditch your current supplier and switch to a new one... How To Switch To A Newer, Better Chinese Manufacturer? [eBook]   Get in touch with us Connect with us on LinkedInSend us a tweet @sofeastPrefer Facebook? Check us out on FBContact us via Sofeast's contact pageSubscribe to our YouTube channel   Subscribe to the podcast  There are more episodes to come, so remember to subscribe! You can do so in your favorite podcast apps here and don't forget to give us a 5-star rating, please: Apple PodcastsSpotifyStitcherGoogle PodcastsTuneInAmazon PodcastsDeezeriHeartRADIOPlayerFMListen NotesPodcast AddictPodchaser
How To Develop New Apparel (Feat. Belinda Jacobs from Techpacks.co)
May 20 2022
How To Develop New Apparel (Feat. Belinda Jacobs from Techpacks.co)
In this episode... Our CEO Renaud is joined by another special guest, Belinda Jacobs founder of Techpacks.co, a company that has been helping soft goods designers and brands improve production & decrease waste, through tech packs since 2016. On the podcast we have often discussed electrical and mechanical products, but how do you develop and bring new apparel to the market? Who better to help Renaud explain than Belinda who's an expert in the field! Together they explain what tech packs are and go through the apparel development and production process step by step pointing out best practices and potential pitfalls along the way.   Show Sections 00:00 - Greetings & Introduction to today's topic. 01:07 - Belinda's background and business, Techpacks.co 02:58 - What are tech packs? 05:51 - Do apparel manufacturers have the tendency to skip a lot of pre-production steps and rush straight into mass production unless they're told very clearly what actions to take beforehand by the customer? The apparel development steps one by one 08:42 - Initial design. 09:53 - Why using another brand's garment as a basis for yours is dangerous. 12:52 - What comes first? Sizing, or an initial sample from the supplier for you to check the look of the garment? 14:18 - After your preliminary plan, the importer asks the manufacturer to prepare some elements. What are they? 17:18 - How do designers communicate their ideas for colors to the manufacturer, and what do they give you for approval? 20:08 - The manufacturer has produced a sample in the right style, color, and fit, what's the next step? 21:44 - Full size set samples. Needed, or not? 24:02 - When do labelling and packing need to be documented and confirmed? 27:26 - What's the best way to communicate with suppliers once you start working with them? 29:34 - At what point will importers feel confident to pay the downpayment and start mass production? 33:07 - What are 'TOP samples?' 36:01 - Summary: The garment development process that designers need to keep in mind 39:53 - Wrapping up and how to contact Belinda and Techpacks.co   Related content... What does CMT (Cut, Make & Trim) mean?Some Problems Can’t Be Detected During Apparel QC InspectionsAuditing Cut & Sew Processes for Garment ManufacturingHow The Gap Increases Speed in their Apparel Supply Chain3 Basic Guidelines for Garment Quality Assurance in ChinaImplement a Production Monitoring Program for Apparel in China, India, & Vietnam from Sofeast where our experts handle the development and production steps described in this episode locally.Get help from Sofeast to assure your apparel production starts with lower risks with a Pre-Production Meeting.   Get in touch with us Connect with us on LinkedInSend us a tweet @sofeastPrefer Facebook? Check us out on FBContact us via Sofeast's contact pageSubscribe to our YouTube channel   Subscribe to the podcast  There are more episodes to come, so remember to subscribe! You can do so in your favorite podcast apps here and don't forget to give us a 5-star rating, please: Apple PodcastsSpotifyStitcherGoogle PodcastsTuneInAmazon PodcastsDeezeriHeartRADIOPlayerFMListen NotesPodcast Addict
Is It Time For North American Importers To Leave China? (Feat. Andrew Hupert)
May 13 2022
Is It Time For North American Importers To Leave China? (Feat. Andrew Hupert)
In this episode... Our CEO Renaud is joined by a special guest in this episode, Andrew Hupert, a cross-cultural management and communication expert, coach, and trainer who spent 10+ years in China, is currently based in Mexico, and also creates a podcast you should check out: Globalism 2.0. They discuss why companies are starting to leave China, in particular, American companies, where they're going, and why Western companies need to start thinking about diversifying supply chains rather than focusing on China alone. Andrew also gives some helpful insight into the business environment of Mexico and why it is a candidate for near-shoring supply chains for some American and Canadian companies.   Show Sections 00:00 - Greetings & Introduction to today's topic. 03:04 - Andrew's background. 04:21 - What is 'Globalism 2.0?' 13:29 - What is a bad scenario in the next few years that companies who manufacture products in China for sale in the USA need to plan for? 21:59 - Is there a timetable where the situation between China and the US becomes very hard for importers? 22:57 - Implementing China +1 and going further. 26:27 - Is Vietnam a potential China alternative? 29:56 - Have a lot of companies selling into the USA & Canada already near-shored their supply chains into Mexico? 33:15 - What's the relationship between Mexico and China? 40:22 - Wrapping up.    Related content... Read Andrew's book: The Fragile Bridge: Conflict Management in Chinese Business Follow Andrew on LinkedIn to read his latest postsListen to Andrew's podcast, Globalism 2.0Why Your Product’s Final Assembly Should Be Close To Its Key ComponentsWhen Should American Companies Reshore Manufacturing Or Stay In China?How To Diversify Manufacturing Sources Out of China and Cut RiskNearshoring To Mexico. An Alternative To China? [Podcast]   Get in touch with us Connect with us on LinkedInSend us a tweet @sofeastPrefer Facebook? Check us out on FBContact us via Sofeast's contact pageSubscribe to our YouTube channel   Subscribe to the podcast  There are more episodes to come, so remember to subscribe! You can do so in your favorite podcast apps here and don't forget to give us a 5-star rating, please: Apple PodcastsSpotifyStitcherGoogle PodcastsTuneInAmazon PodcastsDeezeriHeartRADIOPlayerFMListen NotesPodcast Addict