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  • Writer's pictureJonathan Lee

Manufacturing in China during the COVID-19 pandemic

Updated: May 11, 2020

Here are some strategies to keep project quality and delivery on track.

There is no doubt with global uncertainty changing the outlook each day, project managers have a difficult task ahead in controlling their ongoing and upcoming manufacturing projects in China.

With increasing restrictions on international flights into China and most countries on national lock down, we have received a number of queries from new and exisitng clients on how they can effectively manage their projects in China moving forward. With consistently changing regulations, clients are also interested in gaining a better understanding of the current situation on the ground.

As we discussed in our Mining Australia article recently there are a number of challenges that can expect when manufacturing heavy industry equipment in China. In addition to this, the challenge we’re hearing from most companies today is:

“We're unable to send staff to China

to manage project and product quality”

Unfortunately for many companies this issue may be a roadblock for the remainder of the year or until China and the rest of the world can control and recover from the current COVID-19 pandemic and reopen borders.

In the meantime, here are four (4) areas to assist your manufacturing efforts in China:

1. Timeframe. Can you delay, defer or cancel the project?

2. Process. Are project controls in place to help both you and the manufacturer?

3. Implementation. Are there any barriers to implementing these changes?

4. Expectation. What impact could doing nothing have to your product?

1. Timeframe

  • Will there be impacts to your business and customers if you delay manufacturing?

  • Do you need the assets immediately and when will their use begin to contribute to your cashflow?

  • What are your payment terms and have you already paid the majority of the contract total?

  • Has the drop in the AUD increased the assets cost?

2. Process

  • What project controls do you currently have implemented with the manufacturer?

  • Are you able to introduce new controls such as video quality check reviews?

  • Are you able to introduce regular meetings and project, quality reporting structures from the factory?

  • Do you have access to reliable, competent project managers and quality inspectors based in China?

3. Implementation

  • Are you being met with resistance from the factory when implementing new initiatives?

  • Are you being hit with contract variations to implement your new processes?

  • Are there contractual terms limiting you from implementing any of the above?

4. Expectation

  • Is the information you’re receiving from the manufacturer reliable?

  • Are there national or international standards that your product must meet?

  • Do you need to sign off on the products before they leave the factory?

Your on the ground resource for quality manufacturing in China.

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