Drawing Confirmation in Aftermarket Purchasing
A typical obstacle international automotive companies come across when they purchase aftermarket parts in China is with the product drawings.
While the large customers are quite technically capable, small and medium-sized companies usually depend on their Chinese suppliers to produce and deliver the correct products. In other words, quite often they are not able to confirm the drawings submitted by the factories. And when they want new products to be developed, all they have are some OE numbers, product photos, or perhaps the actual samples, but no definite drawings.
These customers are usually distributors or wholesalers of parts for some specific vehicles or full product lines, so they are very knowledgeable about the OE numbers and the applicable make, year, and model numbers. However, they do not specialize in a dedicated product line and are therefore not technically sophisticated enough to deal with the technology and quality side of the products.
While there is no magic wand you can wave to easily overcome the issues with the product drawings, the following approaches are recommended to ensure that the final products supplied by the factories are the correct ones and conform to the technical specifications.
○ There are actual samples for the factories to study;
○ If actual samples are not available, get as many photos of the products from different sides and angles as possible;
○ Try to obtain as many OE numbers and reference numbers as possible for other applicable vehicle models;
○ Gather as much information as possible for the applicable vehicles, such as models, years, engine models, and the VIN numbers;
○ Based on all available information, conduct research on specialized vehicle and product information systems to analyze, identify, and select the correct product technical specifications;
○ Provide factory samples for customers’ confirmation;
○ Start with small-batches to try out.
This article was first published in June 2017
keywords：Product Development Project Management Services Post COVID-19 Factory Audits