Posts

Seminar recordings and other resources from the Spring 2017 China Sourcing Summit

Global Sources hosts a China Sourcing Conference twice a year at their China Sourcing Fairs in April and October.  I have the honor of speaking at their events.  In case you didn’t have a chance to attend, in this blog post, I’ll share the seminar recordings and related resources.

Where to find the conference notes & video recordings?

Event Topic Recording/ Related Videos
Global Sourcing Trade Show (HK) China Sourcing 2017: Best practices & common mistakes https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ppFv9SjzrAg

If you liked the seminar, you may also enjoy the following:

  • China Sourcing Academy A great resource for professional training.  I am honored to be one of the online instructors at the academy.
  • The Essential Reference Guide to China Sourcing (available on Amazon) or learn more about my book here.

 

FAQ: How to ensure the seller is not a scam?

Search SupplierBlacklist.com

A Corporate Assessment (CA) report can provide viability into the stability, assets & reputation of a target company.

Red Flag Assessment (RFA): Risk, Scams & Fraud exposure on a given transaction/deal when buying from a Chinese company.

 

FAQ: How to find a reputable sourcing agency?

Option A: If your project is ongoing and you could benefit from having a team working full-time on your behalf in China, then check out PassageMaker as they set up and manage virtual sourcing teams and production lines.

Option B: If your project is one-off or you don’t need full time support, please check out my list of endorsed service providers for QC, Logistics, Sourcing Agents, Engineering, Consulting and much more at www.SourcingServiceCenter.com .

 

FAQ: Where to find an English speaking lawyer in China?

www.AsiaBridgeLaw.com  Affordable, Professional, English-speaking legal & business advisory services. I am on their board of advisors and recommend them with confidence for:

  • IP Registration

  • Bilingual Contracts

  • Dispute Resolution (including Loss Recovery)

  • Business Advisory Services

  • General Legal Counsel

 

If you have additional questions about China sourcing, feel free to contact me at your convenience and I will do my best to assist you.   Looking forward to being of service and wish you successful China Sourcing.

Best Regards,

Mike

Return the favor:

If the information was helpful to you, please consider returning the favor in any of the following ways:

  • Share this email with a co-worker or business associate.
  • Subscribe to my YouTube channel, hit the “like it” button and post some comments.

Your support is greatly appreciated!

 

 

 

PassageMaker’s Founder Interviewed by the Financial Times

PassageMaker’s founder (Mike Bellamy) was interviewed by the Financial Times about his professional and personal life in a special segment on how East intersects with West.

Visit www.FT.com for the full article entitled “A foot in both cultures”. Below are some highlights.

 

Blackbox assembly in China explained using Mike’s desk as a case study.

Multicultural Business and Family

The American founder of PassageMaker, a sourcing company that acts as a go-between for midsized western companies that supply retailers from factories in China, laughs when he describes how his teenage daughter symbolises this cultural ambidexterity. She picks “the eyeball out of a fish-head with chopsticks with one hand while helping herself to mashed potatoes” with the other.

Blackbox Assembly Explained

…while everyone wants the China price – ie the low costs associated with sourcing from the country’s factories – clients are just as concerned about being copied by suppliers who quickly become competitors. “We are a buyer-appointed firewall. Buyers don’t want the sub-suppliers to see too far up the supply chain,” he says.

The process used to manufacture his exercise bike-enabled desk is a case in point. Its steel legs are made by one manufacturer, the plastic table-top at another. The unit is then assembled at a factory owned by PassageMaker and shipped directly to Amazon – without even the middleman client in the US seeing the finished product.

The manufacturer of the steel legs could have been used to make the whole product but breaking up the process allows the company to protect its intellectual property. The company’s shift a few years ago from a sole focus on sourcing to protecting IP – what Mr Bellamy dubs a “black box” approach to manufacturing “to give clients a physical infrastructure to protect their IP when the IP laws don’t”

Small town USA to Shenzhen China: Learning the language

He first moved to Asia in 1993 and has been a resident of Shenzhen, southern China since 1999. Mr Bellamy jokes that more people live in his apartment building in Shenzhen than in the small Upstate NY town where he grew up. Studying Chinese was not easy. Back in the 90’s, his roommate, a Chinese engineering student, returned to their hostel with a second-hand television. “He said, ‘This is how you turn it on’,” Mr Bellamy says. “I thought, I have to learn this language otherwise people will think I am stupid.” Mr Bellamy now reads, writes and speaks Chinese.

Mike Bellamy received his double degrees in diplomacy and economics at the American University in Washington DC and later received an MBA from the University of South Carolina.  As part of his program, he took a year of graduate level courses at the Harbin Institute of Technology in north-east China and at the University of International Business and Economics in Beijing.

 

Starting PassageMaker: Honest business in a corrupt system

In 2002, he founded PassageMaker with two employees; the company would later grow to over 200 employees.

Mr Bellamy jokes that he has sourced everything from church pews and sex toys to iPod accessories. Today, the company sources $200m worth of products for clients in the US, Europe and Australia.

Unlike many large supply-chain companies in Asia, PassageMaker does not ask for a commission from the factory supplying the product as well as from the buyers. “Our compensation is 100 per cent from the clients. As soon as you take a percentage from the supplier, there’s a conflict of interest,” he says.

If this sounds like the business equivalent of being a Boy Scout in China, it is probably because Mr Bellamy’s mission for his company is based on the Rotary Club’s guiding principles. On the walls of his company’s Shenzhen offices are questions employees are supposed to ask themselves as they do business, taken from Rotary’s Four-Way Test. “Is it fair to all concerned?” and “Will it build goodwill and better friendship?” are two of the maxims on its website and walls.

 

Visit www.FT.com for the full article.

China Sourcing at Trade Shows – Top Q&A, Tutorials and Resources

Are you looking to start your China Sourcing at Trade Shows?

With the April 2017 trade show season in China/HK just around the corner, I thought it would make an interesting blog post to share with you the resources offered to the people I met at a October 2016 trade show. I hope you find it useful as you get you ready for the 2017 buying season & doing some China sourcing at trade shows! Don’t forget to attend this year’s conference on China sourcing if you are in Hong Kong come April!

 

Where to find the conference notes & video recordings?

Event Topic Recording/ Related Videos
Global Sources Trade Show (HK) How to Protect Business Secrets and Intellectual Property Covered in this video playlist.
Global Sources Trade Show (HK) How to Manage China Sourcing Projects from Afar Entire seminar + Q&A at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bjhnX98LfNk&feature=youtu.be
FBA Seminar (HK) Moving from supplier’s design to your design IP protection, Engineering and Vendor Selection covered here.
Austrian Chamber of Commerce (Guangzhou) Workshop: Advanced Supply Chain Tactics Similar content at https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL_04teO1jjt7dusC4OrYhwoXaHP3jJSEt

 

International Sourcing Expo (Melbourne) Keynote Speech: “Sourcing in Asia Today: Effective and affordable strategies for overcoming challenges old and new” Entire seminar + Q&A at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_x0zPGeKV-Y      Recorded in HK.

 

If you like my China Sourcing Seminars, you may also enjoy the following:

China Sourcing Academy  A great resource for professional training.  I am honored to be one of the online instructors at the academy.

www.ChinaSourcingInfo.org   My blog for small and medium sized buyers.

http://www.psschina.com/china-business-blog/ My blog for large buyers.

The Essential Reference Guide to China Sourcing (available on Amazon) or learn more about my book here.

Where to find professional and affordable help for China sourcing?

Here is my full list of endorsed service providers as mentioned in the seminars.  QC, Logistics, Sourcing Agents, Contract Manufacturers…

 

How to ensure the seller is not a scam? (3 recommended tools)

Search www.SupplierBlacklist.com

A Corporate Assessment (CA) report can provide viability into the stability, assets & reputation of a target company.

Red Flag Assessment (RFA): Risk, Scams & Fraud exposure on a given transaction/deal when buying from a Chinese company.

Now a word from our sister company:

www.AsiaBridgeLaw.com  Affordable, Professional, English-speaking legal & business advisory services.

I am on their board of advisors and recommend them with confidence for:

  • IP Registration
  • Bilingual Contracts
  • Dispute Resolution (including Loss Recovery)
  • Business Advisory Services
  • General Legal Counsel

 

Sorry for the long post but I wanted to give you as many resources as I could think of to help get you ready for the 2017 buying season! If you have additional questions about China sourcing, feel free to contact me at your convenience and I will do my best to assist you.

Looking forward to being of service and wish you successful China Sourcing.

Best Regards,

Mike Bellamy (LinkedIn Profile)

Celebrating 20 years in Asia!

Return the favor:

If the information was helpful to you, please consider returning the favor in any of the following ways:

Share this info with a co-worker or business associate.

Subscribe to my YouTube channel, hit the “like it” button and post some comments.

Visit www.PSSChina.com for a look at how my company may be of service to you.

Your support is greatly appreciated!

 

China Sourcing – Broken Down Into Straight Up, Actionable Advice

mike bellamy globalfromasia podcast2 v3

An informal one-on-one talk about China business adventures

My good friend, and serial entrepreneur, Mike Michelini is the host of the fun, information and informative “Global From Asia” podcast “where the daunting task of running an international business is broken down into straight up, actionable advice”.

For episode 71 of the podcast, we sat down for a 40 minute exchange of China business stories and advice.

Here is the link:

http://www.globalfromasia.com/how-to-avoid-being-trapped-in-a-chinese-factory-scam-order/

mike bellamy globalfromasia podcast2 v3

Topics Covered:

  • What brought you out to China in the beginning?
  • Today’s topic – China Sourcing Due Diligence Tactics, Can’t think of anyone with more experience than you
  • Can you share with us various types of China sourcing – wholesale/ off the shelf, tweaked versions of pre-existing products, and fully customized
  • Let’s focus on fully customized today – What are some MOQ amounts normally required to do these?
  • What are the other costs many also don’t factor in that are essential
  • I remember you mentioning you have worked with some Kickstarter projects and other crowdfunding projects – what is the normal process for these guys – should they start to source from China before they list on Kickstarter, or when funded, prototype? any tips?
  • Process of narrowing down the overwhelming list of suppliers in your hunt for the right Chinese factory and supplier relationship?
  • Ways to show you are serious buyer to a Chinese manufacturer
  • Some “buzzwords” or keywords you should know when talking to a factory- FOB, EXW, etc
  • Last tips or things I missed for buyers venturing into China for their procurement

Is your Product Compliant with Government Standards?

bsci logo

Exclusive Video!
Q&A with Mike Bellamy at the Australian International Sourcing Fair in Melbourne (Nov 2014).

bsci logo

Topic: How to confirm if your product is compliant with government standards

If you are unable to view the video due to firewall issues, here are links to related articles:

Product certification and compliance in China – The key steps

PassageMaker’s assembly inspection facility passes BSCI audit with flying colors

About the speaker: For over a decade Mike Bellamy has been an advisor to both small and fortune 500 companies wanting to do business in China. Mike has overseen the sourcing of over 200 production classifications, ranging from components for medical and automotive applications to finished products such as toys, textiles and hardware.

Video: China Sourcing 2014-2015 – A round table talk with experts

cover image

Raw Video: Panel Discussion: Various Topics/ Import-Export hosted by PassageMaker’s Mike Bellamy, China sourcing expert.

As presented at the Australian International Sourcing Fair’s Conference in Melbourne (Nov 2014) Day 2

Intro from the show organizer:

This exciting discussion panel will focus on international sourcing and provide practical tips, ideas and advice from industry experts. Mike Bellamy steers the ship on this discussion and leads a panel of highly regarded experts. Featuring Jane Tepper from EcoSleep & Mark Coleman from the Australian Chamber of International Trade, no stone will be left unturned as all the big issues are tackled. A valuable session for all delegates to interact and participate with industry leaders.

Visit Mike’s YouTube Channel for lots of video tutorials about sourcing in China… and don’t forget to subscribe!

China sourcing: Negotiation, Contracts and Payments

China sourcing negotiation contracts and payments

Exclusive recording of Mike Bellamy’s Sourcing Tutorial at the April 2014 Global Sources Trade Show in Hong Kong.
Learn the key factors and actionable knowledge that will help you prepare for “Chinese negotiation” and place safe orders!

Without a good foundation, your China sourcing project is likely to fail!

Mike Bellamy (PassageMaker founder) offers tips and best practices to ensure you are well positioned before the PO is even placed. Learn how to negotiate contract terms, and structure your payments, to protect your interests when doing business in China. The video tutorial covers some of the most important areas to consider before investing time and money on a China sourcing project. The recording of this seminar covers:

● The dos and don’ts of quality control, logistics and payment methods

● How to protect intellectual property

● Cost drivers and cost breakdown analysis

● Proven negotiation techniques

● Insight into the thinking of your Chinese suppliers

What I told CNN about China sourcing

What I told CNN about China sourcing

I was recently interviewed on camera by CNN at the Global Sources trade show on the topic of what buyers need to know about China sourcing. They put me in the hot seat by asking “give our viewers the 5 most important tips for successful China sourcing” and do it in 30 seconds or less! I wrote a 300 page book on that very topic, so I have plenty of tips, but picking the top 5 and explaining them in just 30 seconds with no chance to prepare was a little intimidating. I must have said something right as CNN aired it right away!

Here are my 5 tips as given to CNN:

Selecting the right supplier upfront is the single most important step in the sourcing process. Starting a relationship with the wrong supplier can be catastrophic. So do your due diligence and verify your supplier BEFORE you place the purchase order.

Use your research skills not your negotiation skills to get a good price/ quality/lead-time. If you know what the fair price in China is for a given widget, you can use that leverage to get a good price from your verified supplier.

Link payments to supplier performance. You may have to give a deposit, but subsequent payments should only be made once the seller achieves pre-agreed targets for ship dates and quality standards. For example, final payment could take place AFTER the final inspection is done by the buyer’s representative.

Make sure the name on the contract matches the name on the bank account and the business license at the production site. If you send money to one account and sign a contract with a different legal entity, good luck getting your money back if things go wrong. Many buyers don’t pay attention to the details and end up sending money to a private account or to a holding company rather than direct to the factory.

Be more than a PO# in the eyes of the supplier. Sell them on why you are a good partner worth of respect. If the supplier can grow with you and likes you as a person, you will find advantage when it comes to lead times, payment terms and quality.

What 5 tips would you suggest to CNN?

Great China sourcing content worth reading from October 2013

Great China sourcing content worth reading

Here is a list of the most popular pieces of content from the China Sourcing Information Center. Much of the content below was created by PassageMaker staff who volunteer at the CSIC.

 

Best of CSIC 10.2.2013 to 11.7.2013

Learn how to protect an idea from copycats

What are the main issues when sourcing?

Why am I paying 6% for VAT?

How to lower my exposure to risk when sourcing?

Can I get a VAT rebate on my China purchase?

Great China sourcing content worth reading from Summer 2013

Great China sourcing content worth reading

Here is a list of the most popular pieces of content from the China Sourcing Information Center. Much of the content below was created by PassageMaker staff who volunteer at the CSIC.

Best of CSIC Summer 7.3.2013 to 9.1.2013

Ask the experts

Does the NDA protect me? Will my ideas be stolen?

Common Mistake: Releasing funds after provision of shipping docs

Why does my supplier fight a move from FOB to EXW terms? What role does VAT play?

Do I Get a VAT Rebate in China?

What do MOB and FOB Mean?

Blog Posts

Social Audits: inexpensive and effective

What to do when a pissed off supplier and his thugs camp out in your China purchasing office.

7 common questions asked when registering Intellectual Property: costs & steps

Why does my supplier fight a move from FOB to EXW terms? What role does VAT play?

Sophie’s China Law Blog

Be Smart, not Sorry, when Drawing up Contracts.

Videos

“How to Spot a Good Factory and Avoid a Bad Apple” Part 7 of 7

“How to Spot a Good Factory and Avoid a Bad Apple” Part 6 of 7

“How to Spot a Good Factory and Avoid a Bad Apple” Part 5 of 7

“How to Spot a Good Factory and Avoid a Bad Apple” Part 4 of 7

“How to Spot a Good Factory and Avoid a Bad Apple” Part 3 of 7

“How to Spot a Good Factory and Avoid a Bad Apple” Part 2 of 7

“How to Spot a Good Factory and Avoid a Bad Apple” Part 1 of 7

Whitepapers

Gray Channels. What they are, Why it hurts, What to do About it.

Articles

Understanding Your Idea Before Applying for Patent

Product Sourcing and Modifications

Revealing a Great Idea too Early.