How to select the best bike factory in China?

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    Many countries manufacture bikes and have many factories to choose from for you. Is the best factory the best supplier for you? No!

    Big brand owners or wholesalers in various markets surely have different requirements regarding the bike quality, price, and services, and most probably tend to choose different factories as their potential suppliers.

    There are several common factors to consider to find the best possible right suppliers – industrial clusters, factory equipment & facilities, good communications, process control & presentation to customers.

    Industrial clusters.

    In China, the bike industry develops from Taiwan Province to Guangzhou and Shenzhen, then transferred to Zhejiang and Jiangsu, then Tianjin, and finally Hebei, due to the cost and raw materials allocation issues.

    Each area developed an industrial cluster based on its local resources, like carbon fibers, PP powders, steel pipes, and most importantly the cost of labor.

    As a result, the absolute quality of parts level ranks high to low from South China to North China too.

    Some factories like mine, Wude Bike, combine local advantages of steel parts with some high-class parts from Zhejiang, to make high-quality bikes similar to Zhejiang level but lower cost, which suits most brand owners and big wholesalers.

    In a word, the benefits to look for bike factories in bike industry clusters could be 5 points as below.

    A. Many factories for you to choose from, big or small you can get the one suit you best;

    B. Complete supply chain, lower cost for complete bike factory to get all parts needed;

    C. Short transportation, avoid road damages;

    D. Absolute quality level ranks high to low: Shenzhen- Zhejiang- Tianjin – Hebei;

    E. Quality level differs, choose the right area factories according to your market quality requirements;

    Factory equipment and facilities

    All products need fair equipment and facilities to ensure their quality. The factory scale is no doubt an important aspect to consider.

    The first type is complete bike factories.

    We all know to make quality products of complete bikes, needs welding, pretreating, painting, wheeling, and assembly, then stock and delivery.

    These complete factories, like mine, cover all these procedures in our charge.

    Welding workshop

    One workshop makes TIG welding and the other CO2 welding.

    Pretreating workshop

    This is the biggest sand blast machine in our area. Remove rust and prepared for painting with flying shots of sand.

    After phosphating was prohibited by the local government years before, sandblasting is the only way we got for pretreating in Hebei.

    Painting workshop

    Our painting is three times, with both outer and inner stickers available.

    Stickers are conducted on the painting line and finished items are put on transfer vehicles.

    Wheeling Group

    Rims are assembled with spokes manually and adjusted by machine.

    Finished wheels shall be transferred to the assembly line automatically if in the same order on both sides.

    Pre-assembled wheels will be put on pallets to wait for their turns.

    Assembly workshop

    Each labor will hold a certain position, to maintain efficient and skillful.


    Separated from the assembly area and packed by orders.

    All finished bikes are packed on pallets.

    Advantages of complete bike factories:

    a. Easier to get uniform quality standards for all procedures as they are under our control;

    b. Easier to manage the delivery time as internal departments coordination is much easier than external cooperation;

    c. Lower overall cost as we don’t need to make profits in each procedure;

    d. Fewer clutches or missing parts as in the same yard and much simpler to make up once happened;

    e. Fully staffed to offer more professional and timely support and services;

    f. Safer for customers as factories have heavy assets like plants and machinery.

    They have disadvantages too:

    a. cost relatively high with labors and facilities, compared to assembly plants;

    b. need an MOQ to start all those machines and production lines.

    Complete bike factories suit those customers with big quantities and high-quality requirements who value quality and service above pure prices.

    The other type is assembly plants.

    Usually rent a workshop, get an assembly line only and complete bikes stocked around in the same workshop.

    The bigger one may get an automatic assembly line.

    While small ones take a traditional manual line.

    They buy everything and do the assembly only.

    The biggest advantages of assembly plants are their price and minimum order quantity both lower than complete factories.

    Their disadvantages are having to communicate with all parts and procedure suppliers, and very hard to control quality and delivery time. Scratches and collisions are very common.

    This kind of plant suits those customers who value much on low prices and do not care very much about absolute quality levels.

    In general, the scale of factories relates directly to the bottom line of cost and the upline of quality you can get. Complete factories can hardly offer very low prices while assembly plants can hardly supply good qualities.

    Good communications

    All works are done by humans. People can’t make good bikes without the support of relative facilities, but with good facilities, not all people make good bikes either. 

    It’s can’t be more important to judge the bike factory by communications.

    First, talk with the boss, or at least the decision-making one, mainly as a credit check.

    Every company has a corporate culture, which is the conduct principles of the boss in daily operations.

    Better talk with the boss who has final words. See his idea on relationships between customers and suppliers, between request and devotion, between long profits and short profits, and attitude toward responsibilities in complaints.

    If the factory wants to steal materials or cheat you, they will always find a way. Seeking the right supplier for long-term stable cooperation, you’d better select an honorable man to cooperate with, who values highly on business reputation and can keep the standard quality for repeated orders and save you all the trouble and worries to inspect the goods every time.

    Second, talk with the sales following your case.

    This person is the one who takes care of concrete affairs and communicates with you the most.

    Above all, he or she must be honest, not hide the truth and keep you updated with real-time progress. Believe that many of us encountered the situation that sales hide existing problems till the day before delivery and force you to accept them.

    It’s job duties for foreign sales to be professional in foreign trade processes and at least half a product professor. Good sales can help clients a lot in process management, file work, and product issues, to save time and money. This is a kind of objective ability and can be seen easily in communications.

    Customer service is an ability as well as a concept. You can feel clearly that he/she treats you like a bowl of meat or a close friend. Some sales are missing on the very second of the off-work bell while some sit till mid-night to solve customers’ problems asap.

    All people have various to-dos and various excuses for work and life. Choose the one with the willingness to serve you better rather than the one with the best conditions.

    Third, talk with the factory’s parts suppliers if you can.

    You may know the boss and the sales for the first time, but their suppliers know them for years.

    Some bosses talk good but do dirty to their suppliers, like deducting the payment of parts or refusing or incapable to pay their part suppliers. Parts suppliers surely won’t bear this loss and lower product quality or delay the delivery of parts for these factories, which spin a circle and are all born by the customers like you.

    Besides, long-standing suppliers for many years know clearly about whether poor quality or good quality parts of different factories use. For instance, once part suppliers talk about my factory: “they always use good quality parts, don’t lower the price for them.”

    To sum up, good communication with bike factories is more important than the facilities they have to some extent. Many customers keep me company through these years to be good friends. We are not customers and suppliers, but friends and partners to grow together.

    Process control and presentation to customers.

    People may lie, or neglect some points when too busy, which can be remediated by process control methods.

    In my company, we have documents to control each procedure and show my customers, who can know what they will get in details and processions.

    Also, have the self-inspection files to show customers and back up for future improvements.

    A compulsory file on a certain node can prevent the factory from neglecting important issues, but will surely take more effort to complete and insist on.

    If a factory or supplier has these existing procedures or the willingness to take this operation, they are most probably trustable.

    Some small tips

    a. Sourcing on google is better than sourcing on Chinese B2B platforms. Independence is the prerequisite of development, applicable to product manufacturing and overseas suppliers too;

    b. Reliable third-party test certificates can be a favorable point to consider;

    c. Video meeting is the second perfect way to know a new soul and a new factory if you can’t visit the factory in person;

    In conclusion, it is very important to choose a good factory when sourcing your products.

    A good factory will have good communication with its customers, honest sales staff, and a well-controlled production process. They will also be willing to work with you to create the best product possible.

    Keep these things in mind and you will be sure to find a good factory that you can trust.

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