“We don’t sit in the customer’s chair. For example, if the customer wants us to produce a hinge in China, we cannot judge how much tolerance it may have. That’s something the customer knows best.”
Arnoud Joosten is a Project Manager in the Project Management department at MULTIFIX. Among other things, he supervises the outsourching of production in China. He is happy to take all the work off customers’ hands, except the design. “They will always have to do that themselves. We can provide support in this. The responsibility for a product of which we do not know the application always lies with the customer. For the rest, we can arrange everything until the product is ready.”
How do you help customers with outsourcing their production?
“When a customer asks if we van produce their product in China, we first run through a number of points of interest. This is to determine whether the request is interesting to have produced in China at all. For example, we check the drawings. Are they complete and do they contain the right information? We also check for material, quality requirements and manufacturability. If the first check shows that production in China is not possible or would not be profitable, we will also tell you honestly. It doesn’t help anyone to go down a blind alley. Not at all if you later find out that production cannot be started in China.”
“If we decide to go ahead, we convert the customer drawings to MULTIFIX drawings. We do this for several reasons. First, the customer’s name will not be mentioned. This is something that many customers appreciate! Sometimes they even ask for it. Futthermore, we place all conceivable comments that apply to the production on the drawing. With this, we try to minimize the chance of error in the production process.”
What is the role of suppliers in China?
“The production process itself is equivalent in China. They often use equivalent machinery as in Europe. In many ways, they even are more resourceful in finding practical solutions. Here in the West, we actually are ‘too digital’. We often have forgotten how to think in terms of solutions. The Chinese work ‘to order’. This means that if your drawing is good, the final product will also be made according to the drawing. The Chinese do what they are asked to do. No more and no less!”
“Once the MULTIFIX drawing is made, a quote is requested from a few suppliers. These are carefully selected for quality and price. The final quotation is presented to the customer by our sales staff. After a positive evaluation by the customer we start producing a number of samples. The samples are produced according to the production process. That process is also followed during the later mass production. This is very important to us at MULTIFIX. In this way, we can show our customers what the production will really look like later on.”
“If the customer accepts and approves the samples, the products can be put into mass production. This initial production is controlled and supervised by our quality people at MULTIFIX Shanghai and Bergeijk. For subsequent production orders, a check is done by the colleagues in Shanghai according to described procedure.”
How do you make sure that the production is good, if you work from the Netherlands?
“The quality department in Shanghai sends a measure report to the Netherlands. This is checked by our quality officer in Bergeijk. If we have any questions or comments, they must first be resolved before the production is ‘released’ for transport to the Netherlands. Upon arrival in the Netherlands an additional random check is done on the incoming goods. In the end, all products delivered by MULTIFIX have gone through at least two, but often three, checkpoints before they are send to the customer.”
Do you want to know more about production in China? Or do you have a question for Arnoud? Then contact him at Arnoud.Joosten@multifix.nl.