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Thread: Got a good product but need it made for less than you can do it?

  1. #21
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
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    Online Ecommerce Ltd, Blackburn Lancashire
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    144

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    Hi Henrik,

    I don't mind importing wood from china and I know what I'm getting (garbage). Only today we were having a discussion about finding gloves, stanley knifes and other metal objects in it.

    Birch from europe is 3 to 4 times more expensive and just cannot compete.

    But nearly every manufacturer I speak to tells me the same story about chinese manufacturing... Great prototype followed by garbage when you place the order.

    I hear the same story/complaints time and again. As a manufacturer china needs to mature and learn a thing or two about customer retention.

  2. #22
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Signs of the Times in Brighton, Brighton Ontario
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    115

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    Sad thing is the Malaysian are now supplying a large portion of our (canada) "industrial" grade plywood and their economy is also growing. No sparks so far but man' oh' man does it stink when cutting it. Its actually a rubber tree being passed as Malaysian oak. Most peculiar lamination format also. Two layers flat, the 1/2 inch or so of hardwood core perpendicular to the face the the backside of two layers. Entire centers fall out and we would normally use solid lumber but it was spec'ed out by the "all seeing and all knowing" architecs... Can you tell I'm not impressed. Save $2 a sheet then spend $2 for bodyfiller and $8 of labour to fill the voids so that we meet spec. When all things are considered everything has a true cost. Be it plywood,toys and even food there is a landed cost that has to be recovered. I'm not knocking China or Malaysia but we here in the West have to realize that China is a coal fired economy that is trying to utilize its only marketable resource which is manpower. Technology, development, quality and customer service will all come later as maturity arrives. This maturity will only be achieved through value based comparison shopping on our part. Anybody on this forum think that the Shopbot machine could be produced in China for any great cost savings, overall. Not this week.

  3. #23
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Boca Raton FL
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    81

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    Tell you what guys, you keep dreaming that China only makes garbage. The reality it that they are very capable of making first class quality stuff. But just like in the US, if you go low bid, that is what you get. Anyone out there have an iPhone? First class product, completely assembled in China.

    The key to getting good product is knowing how to work with them. That is what I am offering. I actually go over to China and work with them on the prototypes and make sure they know what is expected. I make clear guidelines for quality inspection, check materials, follow the assembly of the first run, and inspect the product prior to shipment. I actually go to the factory and work right alongside of the CNC operators and finishing crews to make sure its done right. Chinese workers are hard working people, but like any labor force require good direction.

    Manufacturing in China in not for everyone or every product. Its for mass production. Anything less than a container is not worth it. In reallity you should be looking at getting at least 4 or more containers in the year to make it really cost effective.

    There will always be a place for American made products. Custom cabinets, furniture, and expensive short run item are best done here and that is what the Shopbot does best. But if you find that you designed something on your Shopbot that has mass market appeal and you need a big labor force, its a lot cheaper in China.

  4. #24
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    , Denver PA
    Posts
    133

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    This China versus US manufacturing debate is often playing out on WoodWeb, as in this thread; http://www.woodweb.com/cgi-bin/forum...pl?read=530953 .

    The Chinese have more patience than I would in continuing to produce more and more for a consumer, (the USA) who pays in IOU's. I'd be concerned about default, they must have a long term view/plan.

  5. #25
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    , Depew New york
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    83

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    It is funny to remember way back to the "sixties" when everyone would joke about the low quality of stuff coming out of a place called Japan.

  6. #26
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Boca Raton FL
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    81

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    Two people asked me about the iPhone. The iPhone like most products is manufactured under the direction of Apple by a number of Chinese companies. I actually met a number of the Chinese engineers in Shenzhen working on the iPhone. The real savings when working with China is that you can partner with the Chinese company and then you don't have the investment in machines and infrastructure.

    My first project with China was a MDF painted toy chest that I designed. My brother and I made 50 of them on our PRT 96 in our garages as a test. We sold every one of them as fast as we could make them. I ran the numbers and modeled it all out in spreadsheets as to the cost to ramp up with a facility in Georgia. I factored in materials, labor, wear and tear on machines, tool cost, etc. I knew how much the chests would sell for in our tests. After the numbers were crunched, we weren't going to make any money! But by taking the product to China, we were able to make a profit.

    Many people have this distorted idea that the companies who manufacture in China or other countries are taking advantage of everyone to line their own pockets with great wealth. The reality is that isn't the case. The ones who benefit are really the consumers not the manufacturers. The consumer gets a better product than they could afford and were willing to pay for. The manufacturer makes about the same mark up he would have charged had he made it here. The difference is a product that only a few would have afforded is now afforded by many. A product that wouldn't have made much profit is now profitable.

    As for the Chinese or other foreigners, they are just happy to work so they can feed their families. If we were not there, they would starve. Funny thing is, even on the few dollars they make a day, the average Chinese saves 20-30% of his income!!! The guys I hired here had drunk most of thier check away before Monday arrived. With the economic boom they have had over the past 10 years, a very large middle class has developed in China. In 10 years, they won't be selling stuff to us, but to their own people. They will have one of the largest middle classes in the world by numbers, but still have a labor pool to continue to make stuff.

    By the way, our unemployment rates here are low. Go out there and try to hire good people for labor. Its not easy. The good people that do work hard are always in demand.

    Andrew

  7. #27
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
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    9

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    What you fail to discuss is the blatant copyright/patent/theft infringement that occurs in Communist China.

    You write:
    "The iPhone like most products is manufactured under the direction of Apple by a number of Chinese companies. I actually met a number of the Chinese engineers in Shenzhen working on the iPhone. The real savings when working with China is that you can partner with the Chinese company and then you don't have the investment in machines and infrastructure. "

    Regarding the Iphone that you speak of
    have you ever heard of the the Meizu MiniOne?

    Here:
    http://gizmodo.com/gadgets/eew/blata...ard-283786.php

    Bought in Shenzhen, where you met your engineers.



    A few more examples:
    Vehicles:

    http://www.leftlanenews.com/mercedes...ook-alike.html

    This is an interesting comparison,

    Check out these two quick videos of German crash test done on a Chinese vehicle (and look at the one below)

    http://www.leftlanenews.com/chinese-...ith-video.html

    It is mind boggling that something like this is even in production.



    There are a host of issues that are too numerous to discuss along with the latest ones in the news today. (Toothpaste laced with sweeteners made from chemicals in antifreeze, Mercury, Lead Paint, contaminated pet food etc...)

    Whats troubling is what happens all the folks in that country that are "responsible" after the news is out.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2007/08/14/bu...68&ei=5070

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB1186...googlenews_wsj

    There is no doubt that China is definitely a major manufacturing force in the world and is growing, but the playing field in no way is level.

    You write:
    "they are just happy to work so they can feed their families."

    Many of us feel the same way.

  8. #28
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Boca Raton FL
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    81

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    Before you place all the blame on the Chinese for the blatent copyright infringement, remember that they only make what we buy. For every clone maker there is an American funding it and a thousands of Americans who buy it. The problem is not just a Chinese one. I have also met a lot of companies here in the US that don't have any ethics. There are bad apples everywhere. But most aren't bad. We import millions of containers of product every year, 90% is safe, legal, and good products.

    My other company I owned, which I now just consult for, is Fan Creations which produced license collegiate products. (www.fan-creations.com) So I happen to know more about licensing than most. I happen to know a number of guys on this list who have used college logos on thier products without licenses. Yea, i know you only made a few of them. Its illegal guys. We spent thousands of dollars and lots of accounting to legally license the logos. 15-25% of the gross price goes back to the university. Point is, people in glass houses shouldn't throw bricks. I know its not all of you, but those who have know who they are. FYI - Don't come to me to get your stuff produced unless it's legal. I don't deal in that kind of stuff.

    Again, you get what you demand. You ask for cheap stuff you get cheap stuff. But it is possible to get good quality things made for less if its managed right.

    Again, I am not trying to take food off the plate but put it on it. If you have a product that you can't make a profit on making it in the US, it may be possible to get it made in China which brings money back to your company.

  9. #29
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
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    9

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    You write:

    "For every clone maker there is an American funding it"

    False. That iphone example I have given you is a Chinese funded product Meizu, and there is an article about it (made the front page of popular science this month as well) http://www.popsci.com/popsci/currentissue/index.html

    I'd even wager that those same iphone engineers you state you have spoken with are simply sharing the technology with them in Shenzhen. (the product itself is poorly made based on people who have purchased and actually used them)

    Since you mention that "For every clone maker there is an American funding it" (which shouldnt make a difference if anyone, American or not did, and does not make it any more right),
    Lets site another example. How about a Japanese company instead?

    http://www.nytimes.com/2006/05/01/te...yt&emc=rss

    Yes, they faked an entire company and went as far as it required other factories to pay royalties for "licensed" products and issued official-looking warranty and service documents. Effectively hijacking the brand...the counterfeiters carried NEC business cards, commissioned product research and development in the company's name and signed production and supply orders.


    You write:
    "I have also met a lot of companies here in the US that don't have any ethics. There are bad apples everywhere."

    We have enforceable laws in this country. NEC had the type of resources and pull to throw at the authorities just to even begin the crackdown. Try that when your making MDF toy boxes.

    You Write:
    "You ask for cheap stuff you get cheap stuff"

    Couldnt have said it any better.

  10. #30
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    Mar 2005
    Location
    Stockbridge GA
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    80

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    Now days, I always look at the country or origin and absolutely will not buy it if made in China. I prefer to not dispose of any item 'sooner than later'.

    Bill Clinton put us in this mess and now there is another one wanting to do the same.

    Owning a Shopbot is the best way for me to maintain a very high quality standard. This gives me allot of satisfaction as well as piece of mind that I will never have a customer come to my shop and complain about substandard work or materials.

    China is not our friend.......

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