The China Desk (TCD) provides technical and commercial support for purchasing and sales processes in China.

Sourcing, also known as procurement, is the practice of locating and selecting businesses or individuals based on set criteria. Sourcing is carried out in business in many different areas and for different reasons. One of the most common uses of sourcing is in “supply chain management”. Businesses that can find the most appropriate suppliers at the lowest cost can develop a competitive advantage.

The China Desk (TCD) takes care of the sourcing process for our customers from start to finish, with the maximum result as a starting point. In this approach we use the following methods:

Introductory meeting for checking project feasibility

In an introductory meeting, we discuss the product requirements with our customer and look at the feasibility of the project. Whether there is request for products to be manufactured in China and then shipped to Europe and/or sale of these products directly in China. We offer support for both options to develop a targeted step-by-step plan. This plan is an integral process description in which product wishes, deliveries, prices, transport options and all preconditions are mapped out. If it concerns intellectual property, TCD takes care of the product protections.

In China it is customary to draw up clear product specifications that are supported by good 2- and 3-D drawings and B.O.M. lists. (Bill of materials) The more clearly the integral step-by-step plan is described, the better the outsourcing process can be initiated. For specifications for drawing up correct drawings and file types, see link:

Technical specifications and file types

Trust and building a lasting relationship are important conditions for doing business in China. TCD stands for quality and development of serious projects. We test “project feasibility” and chance of success by immediately sending the project proposal to our offices in Xian and Shanghai. Projects for manufacturing products or development of services in China, such as marketing projects have different approaches.

See TCD Process table “project feasibility”.

Project description

In this process, the feasibility of the project has been approved and the process is started to bundle the product specifications with the drawings into a product checklist. For services, the specifications of the services are described in a checklist.

The product checklist provides for the following components: the (possible) delivery of samples, (possible) request for moulds, description of production techniques, material choices, dimensions and weights, product after-effects / finishes (logos and name prints), 2D and 3D drawings, packaging definitions, NDA’s (non-disclosure agreements), patents, certifications, approvals, logistics requirements, application for product prices, application for logistical costs, applications for other costs, description of required export documents, export guidelines, EU import duties / guidelines, HS code with import duty rates, delivery conditions, delivery conditions, payment conditions and guidelines for quality inspection (s)

For TCD checklists, please refer to the link: product checklist / checklist services.

You can also fill in the checklist and send it to us if you want to skip step 1 Introductory meeting for checking project feasibility.

  • Go to our contact page for subscription of projects and checklists
  • You may upload drawings and pictures directly via this link

Processing product checklist / supplier selection / partner choice China

After the complete project description with the checklist, the work in China can start. Our employees in Xian and Shanghai have a large network for selection of suitable partners. We look for the right manufacturers or put our customers in touch with relations who can market your products or service in China. The selection often consists of a statement of several parties so that you can make a choice. You can also work with multiple parties.

The following aspects are considered when selecting potential partners in China:

  1. Contact details of the company and the owners
  2. Financial position of the company in relation to expected continuity guarantee.
  3. Protection of customers’ intellectual property
  4. Which products or services are made. Is the company highly specialized or does a wide range of products or services be made?
  5. In which fields does the company work and who are the current customers. What experiences does this party have.
  6. Machinery
  7. Production techniques and production processes
  8. Use of materials in the production process (sustainable appearance of the company)
  9. Employees (level of education, technical knowledge, etc.)
  10. Quality assurance / quality systems
  11. Management system
  12. Certifications (for production and quality)
  13. Security requirements
  14. Socially responsible / environmental protection techniques
  15. Possibilities to have a “private label” made. (applying logos, screen printing, laser printing, stickers, etc.)
  16. Packaging options
  17. Delivery times
  18. Prices related products, parts, or services

What do we pay attention to when choosing the right partner?

It is important to work with a manufacturer / partner who is suitable for producing the requested goods or who understands the products or services. TCD looks at the following elements.

  • Experience: does the factory have the right machines required for production? Have you already had experience with making similar products? Are the employees professional.
  • Background: for whom else are they producing, and for how long have they been a customer? Are there only customers for a shorter period, why is that?
  • Production capacity: do they offer the possibility to produce the requested quantity within the agreed time?
  • Production schedule: How full is their order book actually and do they have the space to place your order in between?

Many manufacturers do not always operate as they believe through their promotional materials or websites. That is why it is so important to assess the supplier yourself. How can you be sure that the production will take place in the factory they show you, for example?

We can check and monitor the above matters for you. We have experience in making the correct agreements and ensure that these are complied with by the manufacturer or partner.

Negotiating with suppliers / partners and price elaboration

If the entire project has been mapped out and the right supplier or partner has been found, then on the basis of the product checklist / service checklist, negotiations are conducted with the supplier. Exporting to China is about establishing opportunities to market the products.

An important part is determining prices, delivery times and quality. Supplying the product specifications with good samples supports this process. Our office in Xian ensures that the correct agreements are made with the partner or manufacturer based on drawings, samples, and product specifications.

After taking stock of the product data, the manufacturer or partner provides targeted information about prices, delivery times and, if necessary, provides additional information to the TCD office in China. TCD provides a specified quotation.

The price elaboration consists of tiered prices based on numbers. You can choose from prices based on delivery conditions according to INCOTERMS 2000. You can choose a price offer including or excluding transport and customs clearance costs and/or import duties.

TCD ensures that a specified price offer is issued to you as a customer and that we consult on the desired payment conditions, transport, and make other agreements.

Prototypes / testing of product quality

Prototypes are intended to give a good idea of the quality of the product that you want to have produced in China. The desired quality can be tested, and a quality level of the manufacturer can be determined. The prototype is compared with the sample we receive from customers. We can send the prototype(s) by express shipment.

Our employees in Xian and Shanghai visit the manufacturers to check the production processes and the quality of the results. We refer always to the sample, product specifications, original drawings, and feedback of customers.

Start production after prototype / approved quality controls

When the prototype is approved, the production of the ordered series is started. You will receive clear information from TCD about the delivery time and we will agree with you on the payment conditions. The approved prototype is the basis for quality checks during production.

After production has started, TCD carries out targeted quality control (s) at the factory based on specific wishes. The quality control (s) are performed by our employees from the Xi’an and Shanghai offices based on product specifications, drawings, prototypes and quality control forms (Q.C. forms)

See example of a Q.C. form and specific information via menu Quality Controls.

After the final check upon delivery of the products, it is checked whether the goods are correctly packed and will be shipped in correct form. TCD provide you with pictures or videos before the container is closed or the container shipment leaves the factory. Same procedures are made with air freight solutions.

After receipt of the partial payment or final payment, the shipping papers will be prepared and sent to you by e-mail:

  • Invoice
  • Packing list
  • Bill of lading (sea transport) / Airwaybill (air transport)
  • Certificate of origin (if requested)
  • Quality forms such as RoHS forms, CE certificates, technical approval sheets, MSDS files etc. (if requested and necessary for transport)
  • Other documents (if requested)

TCD is happy to advise on the options for insurance of goods during transport between the manufacturer and your warehouse. Air freight from China takes approximately 3-5 working days. Sea freight takes approximately 30 – 35 days from China. Feel free to ask about options for combination transport sea and air freight via Dubai. (DBX) We offer transport services by railway as well.

Delivery of the goods and after service

Once products have been produced, they have to be transported to their destination or warehouse for further distribution or processing in final manufacturing. It seems easy for many existing importers, but for one just beginning it can be stressful. There is a lot of paperwork to be issued for the transport. So called shipping documents. Bookings of shipments at forwarders requires knowledge of the logistics and be aware of different booking systems.

There is so much involved in moving products. For instance, there are aspects like International Commercial Terms (Incoterms), cost structuring related to import duties, and sea or air freight charges. Handling the clearing and delivery components are other expenses.

Chinese suppliers prefer to sell on a CIF basis, so that they arrange transportation cheaply themselves and exercise their own control over the shipping. We often experience higher costs and delays in ports of destinations.

We play a supporting and active role in the world of logistics and find reliable and safe solutions.