We live in a global digital age where the world is getting increasingly smaller.
Distances are often shrunk by technology and we live in a 24/7 environment, but the truth of the matter is that while we can often get goods at lower costs from the other side of the world, they still take a considerable length of time to get to the UK.
So what can be some of the issues businesses face when ordering from the Far East which could impact on lead times?
- Jan-Feb: Chinese New Year can affect production throughout (when will workers return from holidays?)
- Oct-Nov: All factories become extremely busy, and production can bottleneck.
- Oct-Nov: Freight / logistics is not as flexible during these months, and can be expensive.
- Oct-Nov: Other raw materials can be hard to procure, due to higher demands.
- Oct-Nov-Jan-Feb: A combination of increased production demands, and workers’ holidays can affect the R&D throughout these months.
- Sep-Oct-Nov: These are very poor procurement months; raw materials are usually at their highest, and the sea freight at its most expensive.
After opening our Far Eastern operations as far back as 2007, we have a firm understanding of the time scales involved in getting goods to the UK and how to effectively manage the above issues.
We believe it is fundamental to operate via an eight-month production cycle and have created this simple guide to productivity to best avoid some of the pitfalls.
The golden rule when ordering from overseas is to think ahead. Factor in local supply issues such as holidays and peak periods and of course account for the time your goods will be on a ship in a container.
If you have a good understanding of working in the Far East, and we can help, then you will be well on your way to doing good business in a globalised economy.