Is there still the clamour to source from China?
With Channel 4 currently screening a season of documentaries about China, there is no doubting how important China is to the UK from an economic and cultural point of view. You just have to read the label on your clothes or examine the goods in your home to understand how many products are produced by the Chinese.
From a Purchasing and Supply Chain point of view, the ability to work well with Chinese suppliers can often be the difference between making a profit or a loss. From my stand point as a specialist purchasing and supply chain recruiter, experience of sourcing from China has often been a key requirement for numerous jobs I have recruited for.
When I moved into Purchasing and Supply Chain recruitment in 2007 I noticed a huge drive to source more products from China and to even relocate entire businesses to the country. With Cheap wages and fewer restrictions on how products were produced the communist state became a capitalists dream. But is this situation now starting to change, or even reverse?
From my point of view, I am still dealing with vacancies where sourcing suppliers based in China is an integral part of the role. However, there seems to be much greater choice for Purchasing professionals looking to establish low cost country sources. India has been experiencing rapid growth and has a history of producing products from textiles to automobiles. In speaking to a wide range of purchasing managers it is clear that the supply base has now diversified further with more sourcing activity in Turkey, Brazil, Eastern Europe and North Africa.
In fact, it now seems that things have gone full circle. Living standards and wages have improved and the growing middle classes in China are now buying British and European goods rather than those made in their country. The prime example of this is the success of the Range Rover Evoque which currently has back orders as a direct result of strong sales in China!
If you are a Purchasing Manager, Strategic Buyer or Supply Chain Manager how important is China to your current sourcing strategy? Are you now uncovering more competitive suppliers elsewhere?
March 20, 2012 | Share: