When we decided to open the business and specialize in remote controls, we realized we needed a reputable manufacturer because it is our reputation that is at stake if our product is not up to standard. We knew we had to align ourselves with experts in the field. Even though we are an Australian based company, our products are manufactured out of China, like most things these days. Therefore, we needed to ensure we established a strong and workable relationship with the team that ‘are on the ground’.
There are thousands of manufacturer’s in China and it is easy to form an association with a manufacturer that is substandard and can cause many problems down the track. We went through a detailed research and development phase in investigating who the remote control specialists were in China and narrowed down a list of over 100 into 3. We then went to a couple of International Fairs in Guangzou and Hong Kong to view new state of the art products around the world. We then extended our travels in China to see the 3 preferred manufacturer’s production areas to meet the team and see what goes on. This enabled us to make our final decision on who to align ourselves with.
One of our manufacturer’s is based in an area called Quanzhou which is about one hour and a half flight from Guangzhou.Quanzhou, also called Licheng and Citong Cheng in Pinyin, is one of the most famous historical and cultural cities in China. It is an important seaport located in southeast Fujian Province and is the economic and political center of the province. The climate is warm and humid, comfortable for year-round travel, making Quanzhou a popular tourist destination.
In addition to places of historical interest, Quanzhou also abounds in natural beauties including various mountains, river valleys and basins. There are hotels of varying standards as well as small hostels. Quanzhou also has many commercial streets for shopping, such as the Back City Street (Houcheng Street), Zhuangyuan Street, Zhongshan Road and Daxi Street.
But with all the beauty, history and shopping opportunities, I must warn you that Quanzhou is also a very industrial area where a lot of manufacturers are based similar to Shenzen and Guangzhou.
When we landed atJinjiang Airport where one of our suppliers is situated,we were greeted with gifts and flowers and whisked away for a 2 hour drive to the manufacturing plant. We met with sales consultants along with the companies engineers to discuss finer details of their business and their products that we couldn’t find out via research from Australia. We walked through the warehouse and met the whole team individually and spent over a couple of days overseeing production.
We then went back to Australia and went through a detailed testing phase, testing all remotes with remotes / brands in Australia. We needed to know the universal remotes were compatible with the brands noted on the brand code list. We also tested the garage door remotes with the relevant garage door brands we have here in Australia. This phase took up to 6 months to a year for us to refine things with the manufacturers to ensure the products were adequate for use in Australia.
As mentioned above, most manufacturers are based in China and there are many of them including small time players to large business corporations. This includes areas that spill out into Taiwan through to Hong Kong and Singapore.