The Future of China Sourcing: Communications & Its Effect on Travel

We’ve been doing a series based on communications and how it relates to sourcing from China. A lot of seasoned importers would argue that communication is the most important quality they look for in a management company or sourcing agent managing their China supply chain.

Back in the early days of China sourcing, communication and travel both were very time consuming and difficult to do. As time has gone on, advances in communications have decreased the amount of required travel by importers to sustain a good supply chain in China.

Below, we’ve outlined the biggest impacts that improvements in communication have had on China supply chain management:

Less Travel: Generally, the better and clearer importers can communicate with their China sourcing team or agent, the less they have to travel to China. This was not the case in the early days. In most cases, importers HAD to travel to China in order to communicate with suppliers and business partners. Advances in the forms of communication available to bridge the gap between the western world and China have made it so that importers do not have to travel as much. Such advances such as email and video chat make factory visits and inspections much easier and faster.

More Focused Travel: Because we are now able to get information much more quickly than ever before, thanks to platforms like WeChat, WhatsApp and Skype, importers are able to discuss and create solutions with their China teams without ever leaving their home office. This means that they’ll be faced with less or shorter meetings when they DO visit China. It also allows importers to focus their attention on the most pressing matters during their visit.

Travel Assistance:  Again, with so many new forms and platforms of communications, importers are able to communicate with their China teams with much more ease, also making travel arrangements and accommodations much easier. It is naturally simpler for your China team to make travel arrangements, as they are most familiar with the area, customs and forms of transportation. Once all arrangements are made, they are able to instantly email or message your travel information in the blink of an eye.

While importers are constantly finding ways to cut down on travel, China business and tourism travel continues to grow at the rate of about 3% per year as more and more entrepreneurs are finding their way overseas for production.

How often do you travel to China? How has your travel schedule benefited from improvements in communication?  Share your thoughts with us in the comments below.

 

By Jocelyn Trigueros

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