Monthly Archives: April 2013

China Customs’ Intellectual Property Right Protection: Passive and Active Mode

For those who outsource the manufacturing of their products to China, there’s a daunting worry.  What if the manufacturers, without the permission, ship the products and become their competitors?  What if some other factories copy the products?  This issue becomes even more harmful if the brand or design owner’s products become popular in the market and run in the most beneficial period of the product life cycle.

Sourcing from reputable manufacturer is undoubtedly the first step in your IPR strategy as they would tend to refrain from acting against the agreement.

The most important official resource to leverage is China Customs’ IPR protection measures. It is called the “border measures”

This measures has two modes, the active mode and the passive mode.

If suspiciously infringing import or export activity is about to take place at the border, the holder of the IPR can report to the Customs. The Custom may carry out seizures on the goods being imported or exported. However the premise of this type of seizes is dependant on the filing with the court of law, which means that prior to the seizures, the holder of the IPR must sue the infringing company. In this scenario, the Customs is taking the border measures in the Passive Mode.

According to the rules of China Customs, holders of IPR who meet the below criteria can file their rights and property information with the Customs so as to enable the Customs to protect their right in the Active Mode.

–        Holder of trade mark registered with the State Administration for Industry and Commerce of China
–        Holder of trade mark registered with the World Intellectual Property Organization designating China as within the cover of protection.
–        Patents granted by the IP Bureau of China
–        Holder of copyrights of literature

In the Active Mode, the China Customs can be proactively seize suspicious cargoes according to the information filed with them, in addition to the holder’s self conducted investigation.

It is a important tool for IPR protection for companies sourcing from China.

Visit the website of China Customs and Sourcing Spectrum for more information.

Take Every Enquiry as an Opportunity to Develop Relationship: New Supplier vs. Existing Supplier

When you have a potential order to place, remember to consider it as a good opportunity to develop new or current supplier relationship.   The suppliers in China have a lot of enquiries sent from prospects around the world, some are taken very seriously and other regarded as junk. Enquiries getting better attention will be attended with responsive support while some buyers only get only inefficient or even irrelevant replies.

There are a few automatic filters on the suppliers mind, clarity of business requirement, his company’s chance of winning the business, size of the opportunity and sincerity of the prospect in attitude, track record of the prospect. With ourselves put in the shoes of the suppliers, which would grab more of our attention if we received the below two enquiries?

Enquiry One

“ Dear Sir/Madame,

My name is Edward Jordan, and I work as a procurement manager for Excellent Gadget Inc from the US.  My company is looking to develop a private label power bank product in China and would like to start with 500 units as a trial order and increase to 2,000 in subsequent orders.

I came across your company in Cantonfair and I would like to request a proposal of your most up to date unique models that range from 10,000 MAH to 12,000 MaH.

Our plan is to become the exclusive seller of one or more of your private models for our mutual benefits. We look forward to your reply.

Edward Jordan
Excellent Gadget Inc

Enquiry Two

“Dear Sir/Madame,

I will buying 5,000 power banks, please send all of your models and pricing. I need the lowest prices and all specification.“

Obviously the first enquiry would catch more of your attention and you would provide the most accurate information to him and will allocate more of your working hours to provide continuous support to this prospect until the deal is close and will proactively seek deeper cooperation with the potential customer.

For all businesses, competent suppliers are very important resources and the relationship with such suppliers is the company asset. Among a long list of techniques to develop supplier relationship,  selectively sending the right enquiries to the right candidates is a starting point tool that sourcing professionals utilize skillfully to their benefits.

Most likely new supplier is less patient and know about your company less than companies who have done business with you in the past. You would prefer to send them enquiries that are more defined so that the preliminary communication doesn’t have to be too much back and forth. However you may not want to send very critical orders to them because just as the new supplier doesn’t  know about you, you don’t know the service and quality of them in the beginning.  You would select to send new enquiries that are more likely to close e.g. your existing business or your internal purchases.  This way, the new supplier will be very motivated in your requests and in the series our communication and the following order, you and the supplier will get to know each other as a foundation for future cooperation.

Suppliers with existing relationship with your company would be much more patient and supportive to less defined enquiries.  They are more willing to proactively guide their customer through the development of new business. Furthermore orders that are critical success factors for your project or customer relationship should go through them because they have proven their reliability in the past.  Enquiries that require a lot of support and development should go through your existing suppliers.

As your supplier base grow in numbers and complexity, you should develop your own stable set of criteria so you can allocate your scarce resources, the potential orders, to the continuous development and maintenance of your supplier relationship.

Visit our website for sourcing advice and information on our services.

Sourcing Spectrum Recruitment 2013

Sourcing Spectrum announced two vacancies with China’s leading job portal 51job.

Client Executive
This position requires the candidate to have excellent command of Spanish, English and Chinese spoken and written language. He/she will be responsible for capturing client’s requirements and delivering sourcing solutions. When the new recruit is onboard, he/she will be assigned with training projects in logistics, sourcing and real client issues so he/she is equipped with the required experience before he/she is put independently in charge of Sourcing Spectrum’s client accounts.

Merchandiser/Sourcing SpecialistAs our client business grows and company expands, we are recruiting staff in sourcing. The talents we are looking for are those who is excellent in information collection, designing solutions with his/her analytic skills and has the ability communicate effectively externally and internally so the solutions can be executed smoothly for the benefits of our client. Candidates experienced with sourcing categories such as homeware, appliances, consumer electronics, corporate gifts, machinery are welcome to describe the details of their expertise in their resume submission.