Emerging markets in the region are taking advantage of China moving up the value chain. However, are these countries actually providing better value? We say, “Yes.”
With an ever increasing globalized world there is more choice than ever in which country you source your products from. While China may be the most thought of location when it comes to manufacturing exports, many Asian countries are seeing a thriving manufacturing industry.
Asia Over China
There are several reasons as to why a company may consider other Asian countries rather than just China. Many places across the Asia region are starting to fill the gap China is starting to create as the country looks to move away from low cost manufacturing and textiles. Therefore, for items such as clothing, you may find India, Thailand or Bangladesh are able to meet your needs and can produce goods at a lower price.
Other locations also cater to companies looking to source more niche products. Malaysia is one of Asia’s largest exporters when it comes to home furniture, and Thailand accounts for a third of the supply for natural rubber. The vast amount of countries across Asia means plenty of choice and you can find the supplier that most suits your needs.
A common misconception appears to be that sourcing from Asia can be much more difficulty. This is not necessarily true. While it can’t be denied the vast amount of Chinese suppliers usually means there is plenty of choice, the saying quality of quantity often rings true.
Sourcing a supplier for your product is always a difficult task. You need to ensure many different aspects like the quality and lead times meet your expectations. Often it can be hard to even find a factory with the ability to meet your needs. In pre-internet days, this challenge was even greater, as there was no easy way to connect with suppliers globally.
If you have already looked into sourcing products from overseas, you are probably familiar with the site Alibaba. This platform aims to connect Chinese manufacturers with international buyers. However, over the years this directory has started to include other locations, and now serves the majority of the Asia region. While many more factories are opening every day, and more are continuously being added to Alibaba’s directory, there is still a way to go.
Other ways to get connected to suppliers is through trade shows and traditional networking. This gives you a better idea of whether or not the supplier will suit your needs as you can meet a representative and get reassurance about any concerns raised. However, this may not be an ideal way and is not feasible for everyone.
For some people, they will never need to look further than China. For others, casting a wider net may be a very shrewd decision. China is able to serve the majority of companies looking for overseas manufacturing. However, with many thriving economies occurring throughout the Asian region, a recurring trend of companies using suppliers from other countries will occur. Low cost manufacturing and textiles are two particular areas that China itself is trying to move away from, so if you are looking into these areas, you may want to look further afield.