In the past year, there has been a turn in the market where China has lost much of the world's trust and confidence, and no longer presents a trusted vendor source, a feeling of stability, or value in regards to new product development. Some of these areas that were once dominated by China but are no longer include construction of tooling, prototyping, and many of the various aspects involved with manufacturing.
We at NPDS will no longer source China for prototype construction, tooling, manufacturing, or any other services at the current time. With being on the front line and experiencing the implications of COVID-19 on the manufacturing and development industry since the emergence of the virus in dealing with Chinese vendors and suppliers, we have observed and learned a few things, and have had to adapt as such.
Since the spread of COVID starting in early 2020, our team members have been running into problems consistently in dealing with China, especially since around November 2019.
In late October of 2019 we had several client projects in China for prototyping, having molds and tooling made, etc. products for manufacturing, that were all stalled because of issues with those Chinese vendors. With several of the vendors we were getting no response back to our inquiry emails for progress updates.
The several Chinese vendors we used to typically use had their websites go down, and our emails to them are returned undeliverable. We can only assume that they are no longer in business, and as such we cannot continue to use these vendors, and must turn to other vendors including keeping domestically in the United States.
- Late January 2020 - Inbound airline flights from China are banned from entering the USA, due to COVID-19. At this point, we had already noticed a bit of inconsistency with Chinese vendors for the past couple of months.
- Early April 2020 - Despite sources stating that Chinese factories have repoened in April, we are still not able to make contact with any previous vendors or find them online. Of the contacts we were able to make to Chinese vendors, we received word from them typically stating only 10-20% of the workers are in place.
- Late April 2020 - 400,000+ business were closed in China related to manufacturing in the first quarter of 2020. Officially given numbers by China seem to be surely lesser than what we hear directly from vendors on the ground in China, as these seem to be contradictory. Regardless, there is a mass closure of Chinese manufacturing businesses, and thus our ability to outsource to Chinese vendors for our clients is almost impossible.
- June 2020 - As of the beginning of the summer of 2020, the COVID-19 virus is still going strong, and the ability to use Chinese vendors remains lacking. At this time and in the foreseeable future we have changed to using almost exclusively domestic USA suppliers and vendors..
After the events of early 2020, tides have changed and China is no longer a safe, reliable, and trustworthy resource for supplier and vendor sourcing and utilization. Because of this, we cannot use these vendors, as it would be an unnecessary risk and possible massive delay to the timeline of our projects. Any clients wishing to use Chinese vendors as a source of supply or services, does so at their own personal choice and risk, and against our recommendation based off of the state of the market.