It’s not the Chinese New Year quite yet.
But chances are, your active sourcing and manufacturing are basically at a standstill.
Most factories are closing around the 20th to the 25th.
When do they come back to work?
That’s always a variable.
The date they give you of when they reopen is when the sales contact comes back to work.
The workers are a different story.
They generally come back in dribs and drabs.
Full production doesn’t start immediately on a certain day at a certain hour.
Here’s a few reminder for post Chinese New Year Holiday
Prices go wonky this time of year.
Did you work on an RFQ with your factory just prior to the New Year?
It’s likely that price will change.
(By the way if any remaining payments to be made? Please proceed with caution. See this video where I address that.)
Generally, after a Chinese holiday, there’s always a paradigm shift in pricing.
Cost of materials change.
The government implements policies that affect price (wages, regulations)
Uncertainties in the air after this year’s Chinese festival
But especially this year, there’s the hovering unknown of the trade war.
When you and your supplier reconnect after the holiday, you want to touch back on pricing.
The same with pricing, specifications, after the Chinese Holiday seem to go by the wayside.
What was once confirmed and seemingly understood now seems to be lost.
Your sales contact needs to recheck specifications with the production line.
Certain custom material you were planning on bringing in from a 3rd party vendor? Well that supply line may not longer be available.
You get my point here.
In short, after the Chinese New Year, stuff seems to change.
The China vendors, especially in lower-cost industries aren’t the absolute best at cataloging and recording detail.
Spend time during the holiday going back over case history for projects in the RFQ and development stages.
Then, once your sales contact returns from the break, you want to set aside a time to talk.
- Go back over what’s been confirmed.
- Don’t assume anything is obvious. Find things that may be off the supplier’s radar and purposefully spotlight. “You said this material is doable, I want you to reconfirm.”
- Keep pricing in mind. Just because you don’t ask about it, doesn’t mean the supplier won’t bring it up!
- Timing: if the mass production timing was 30 days before the holiday, don’t assume it’s still going to be 30 days. Well, it may be 30 days, but that means starting March 1st….for example. The big question is “30 days when to when?” – see next point.
Supplier work load
If the factory is busy because of work that wasn’t accomplished prior the Chinese New Year or if there are new inquiries, there can be sort of a bottle neck around the first month after the holiday.
But typically after that month post holiday, there is a bit of a lull, in the factory’s business. That’s actually a good time to start new projects and get them in gear before the normal business returns.
But don’t think you have all the time in the world to establish new projects.
Avoid the false conception that a vendor is just twirling their thumbs after the holiday waiting for you to contact them.
The work load will and does increase for the factory.
If you’re a new customer or a complicated customer, the factory may quickly de-prioritize you once normal business flows in.
Holiday always end gradually…
China is a very busy and bustling place through most of the year. But from experience, people don’t seem to hit the ground running after a holiday.
Your sales contact may be in 1st gear.
The factory workers are dwindling back.
The Chinese will still have a few holiday luncheons and they’ll be in no big hurry to make sure your samples are underway.
After all, the holiday doesn’t officially end until the lantern festival.
Keep this in mind while you’re waiting on answers and feedback.
Chances are, you just came back from the Christmas and New Year’s holiday.
You’re ready to get your brand moving forward.
But, your suppliers’ holiday is just about to begin.