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How to Prepare for Chinese New Year

Fifteen days out of every year, beginning on February 1st, the manufacturing hub of the world shuts down to celebrate the New Year with festivals, food, and family gatherings. With the average mass manufacturing timeline being 2-3 months from order to delivery, November is the time to place an order that can be in your inventory before all factories shut down. When thinking about your company’s Chinese New Year plan, consider your pre New Year inventory levels, if it is possible to maintain a reduced crew during the New Year, and your order schedule once everyone gets back to work.

Healthy inventory levels are essential to every business to ensure that there are products ready to be sold when your customers want to buy them. If your company finds itself needing more inventory while your factory is shut down for over two weeks there is no ability to place a new order or rush an existing one. During the month of November make sure a new production order has been placed with your Chinese factory for delivery before the start of Chinese New Year. Game plan out average sales per month and anticipate having an increased inventory level during late January into February. Also account for the fact that no representatives at the factory will be able to answer questions or concerns during this time so plan out ahead of time what it will be like to be in the dark from your overseas manufacturing partner for over two weeks.

Esino is different from most Chinese manufacturers because we keep a reduced crew in place throughout Chinese New Year to keep basic functions and crucial orders on track for our clients. If you know in advance that you will need services during this shutdown, build a relationship with us now and we can plan to have staff in place during this time to fulfill your needs. Most factories shut down completely during Chinese New Year so this is a unique benefit of working with Esino.

Once February 15th rolls around and all of the workers return from their home villages to their respective factories, there is a phenomenon that takes place every year that results in a reduced workforce. This is that a given number of employees will just leave their jobs on a whim. This can often be because they had a great two weeks off and don’t want to return to regular working life, they discovered they have a sick relative in need of their care, or found another opportunity in their home town. Make sure your factory is ready to hire more people after Chinese New Year with new applicants standing by. This crunch is compacted because it is also the busiest time of the year for Chinese factories as every client has over two weeks of work that is backlogged. Discuss with your factory contact what your priority in the manufacturing line is so that you can resume production order scheduling as soon as possible.

Chinese New Year shutdowns have historically caught many companies by surprise since this is not a holiday that is celebrated in the West. Make sure your team thinks through months in advance a strategic response and implements that plan appropriately.