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Supplier Risk: Outsourcing To China Can Get Costly

Richard Meyer | July 31, 2007

Cheap is very often expensive. That’s the lesson being learned again by companies outsourcing production to China.

With the recent spate of food contamination and other product scares—from melamine in pet food to lead-painted Thomas the Tank Engine toys to toxic cough syrup—many companies in the United States are being advised to do what they should have done when they first moved production offshore: better assess their risks.

Specifically, companies need to do a better job identifying their supplier risks. That means asking some tough questions about exactly what they are buying and establishing the proper structures—both financial and physical—to protect against problems that can arise when outsourcing manufacturing to a developing country on the other side of the planet.

According to risk consultants, many larger and more experienced multinationals have fairly good systems in place already; they have simply been... To get the full story, subscribe now.