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How To Identify A Real Manufacturing Company?

Are you importing goods from China? Trading with Chinese manufacturing or trading company can be tricky and sometimes, quite challenging. This is especially true for importers with small and medium sized businesses. For some, it can even turn into a daunting and a draining drill to deal with the suppliers in China.

A worker at a manufacturing comppany
A worker at a factory

A Difference Between a Manufacturing and a Trading Company

A manufacturing company typically owns a factory where their specialized workers design and manufacture their own products for customers. This is why, establishing a manufacturing company usually requires large capital investment to start with.

On the other hand, a trading company does not own a factory themselves. Instead, they have relationship with one or more manufacturers, and work more like an agent for those manufacturing companies.

Do You Prefer Importing Directly from a Manufacturer or Through a Trading Company?

Most importers do not care if they work with a manufacturer or a trading company, as long as the price and quality meet their expectations. But there are still many importers who want to work directly with a manufacturer when importing goods from China. Mainly because they think the manufacturers can offer the best prices, which can be true, but not in every case.

Almost every other company on buying platforms, such as Alibaba, Made in China or Global Sources, claim themselves as manufacturer. In reality, they are the trading companies listed as manufacturers. So how can you tell if they are a manufacturing company, or a trading company under the skin of a manufacturer?

There are several ways to make a good guess about the company you are dealing with. Off course, not all methods apply in every scenario, but most of them do work in most cases.

In this article we will discusses the tactics that you can use to distinguish between a manufacturing and a trading company.

So How to Tell if the Supplier is a Manufacturing or a Trading Company?

The only method that works much better than any other tactic is visiting the company personally. (We will cover this a little later in this article.) But this is the privilege that many small business owners find difficult to enjoy. Also, the coronavirus pandemic situation is still unclear globally and traveling to China also has its own difficulties during pandemic. Therefore, investigating the supplier remotely need some deliberations and efforts.

Some of the tactics work better than others, but you can still use them to make your analysis better.

1.      Be straight and just ask them the simple question

There is no harm in asking them if they are a manufacturer or a trading company. Most of the times, you will hear that they are manufacturer, as most of them tell this anyways. But still there are some companies, who would tell you the truth that they are in fact a trading company. You may like to respect them for their honesty, and thank them for not wasting your and their own time.

If they tell you that they are a manufacturing company, then keep going with your tactics.

2.      Pay attention to the lead time and the quality of their response

Pay attention to the conversation with the company’s sales representative. Analyze their communication. The way they communicate with you, can give you some clues about them.

The manufacturing company’s sales representative usually have much better knowledge of the product and the manufacturing processes. On the other hand, the trading company’s sales representative could be specialized in sales, but depends on the actual manufacturer for some technical and low level details. That is why the sales person of a manufacturing company usually responds quickly and with more details than that of a trading company. The trading company may also respond to you quickly, but without enough details that you are looking for. For the detailed reply, they may take time.

Exceptions

The above mentioned analysis based on quick responses may not work in some cases. For example: if you are looking for a generalized or a hot selling product, and you stumble upon a trading company by chance. The sales representative of the trading company may have years of experience in dealing with customers like you. He or she could have heard most of the questions you may have to ask, and therefore could be well prepared with the answers in advance. To push them a little, you can ask more questions of the technical nature unique to their product or your query. If they are a trading company, then it may take some extra time for them to find out the required details for you. This is because they may have to contact the manufacturer for the answers.

On the other hand, there are also chances that the person at the sales desk is new at this manufacturing company or at this role. He or she may not have the complete information readily available that you are looking for. So you may have to get back and forth with them to get enough information about the product.

Therefore, it is recommended not to rely too much on this method.

3.      Judge them by the size of their product catalog

A manufacturing company is usually specialized in one or only several kinds of products. If there are lots of different kinds of products in the company’s catalog, then it is more likely to be a trading company.

A typical trading company starts with one or two products at the beginning. As they build their relationships with other manufacturers with time, they keep adding products to their own catalog. Therefore, it is a good idea to check how long they have been in the business. If they are in business for several years, and have many products in their catalog, then chances are good that they are a trading company.

As several other methods, this method may also not give you the clearer picture about the company’s business nature. A trading company that is relatively new, and having only a few products can be mistaken as a manufacturing company. On the other hand, a trading company active in business for many years, yet might stay content with the few products they are dealing in.

4.      Check their minimum order quantity (MOQ)

Most manufacturing companies have higher MOQs than a trading company. For example, a manufacturer can have an MOQ of, say, 20,000 pieces of electrical bulbs. But, a trading company may be able to provide you 5000 pieces of the same bulb. You may ask them to sell lower quantities to see if they can. Compare the MOQs of your required product from different suppliers. Most of the manufacturers usually have similar MOQs for a product on most buying platforms.

5.      Ask for their ISO 9001:2015 Certification

Usually, if a company holds the ISO 9001 certification, then chances are good that they are a manufacturing company. Still, not every manufacturer holds the ISO 9001 certification, and not any company holding this certification is a manufacturer. Many companies find ISO 9001 certification requirements difficult to fulfill, and therefore and not able to obtain this certification. On the other hand, some trading companies obtain this certification as well. In this case, they usually have solid relationship with manufacturing companies. Therefore, they are usually equally competitive as any other manufacturer, even on price.

However, be aware that it is relatively easy to fake the ISO 9001 certificate because they know that you may require some time and efforts to verify the certificate. Check the following databases to verify the certificate:

6.      Check their factory audit report

As one of the checks to classify a company is to ask the company for their factory audit report. If they send you this report, then check the company name on the report. The name on the audit report should match with the one on the business license. If it is so, then they are a manufacturing company.

One thing to note here is that, some companies may have separate names for the office and their factory. If this is a case, then they must have a separate business license for the factory. You should ask them for the factory business license as well, and perform the verification steps. Check for the business scope and other vital information on the license. They would also mention the name of their factory on their website. Basically, they would not want to hide the fact, and provide you all the information you need.

Also, not all manufacturers would necessarily have a factory audit report. So if they are not able to provide you the report, then this does not automatically classify them as a trading company.

7.      Ask for their factory’s pictures

The factory pictures that they send you will give you some idea of their capacity. But don’t take these pictures too seriously, as these pictures can be fake as well. However, when you ask for their factory’s pictures, do not forget to ask for the name block outside the factory, with the factory building in the background. Check and match the characters of the factory name with that on the business license. If they are a legit manufacturer, the name should be same.

8.      Ask for the relevant company documents to see if they are even a legit company

To investigate them further, you should ask for their documents related to their company and business. It is important to know them better for your safety as well. We have covered the list of documents in this article that you should seek before you settle into a contract with your supplier.

9.      Check their business scope on company’s business license

The business scope on the company’s license includes the most important information about the company. In their business scope, look for the characters like 制造 (manufacture),生产 (produce),加工 (process) and so on. You will find these words on the manufacturer’s license, but not on that of the trading company.

You can scan the QR-code on the business license to go directly to the relevant webpage of the company in the National Enterprise Credit Information Publicity System (NECIPS) database. It is almost impossible for a company to fudge this information, as the same information is available publicly on government’s official NECIPS database. Therefore, checking their business scope is one of the easiest methods to tell if they are a manufacturer or not.

10.   Visit their factory and see their manufacturing operations

This is by far the most reliable method to tell if your supplier is a manufacturing or a trading company. If you plan to visit China, you must visit your supplier’s factory to see their manufacturing operations. However, if you cannot travel to China by yourself, you can seek someone’s help who is living locally to make this visit instead of you. Another option is to hire a professional sourcing or an auditing firm for this reason. After all, the sourcing agency or the auditing firm will charge you much less than what you would spend on traveling to China by yourself.

If not anything else, then you should at least ask them for their factory address. Ask them how and when you or anyone on your behalf can visit their factory. Tell them that when you visit the factory, you will be checking their manufacturing areas as well. Observe how they respond. A genuine manufacturer should welcome your visit happily, and would be keen in making all the arrangements for you.

Conclusion

There are several different ways you can judge your supplier to know if they are a manufacturing or a trading company. However, no method is foolproof and can give you the 100% guarantee on your judgment. But the visit to the factory personally would provide the most knowledge and the best judgment about the supplier. So if you are not able to visit the factory personally, we recommend doing as many checks as you can to stay safe at your end of the business.

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Picking the SQL Database For You

A Comparison of SQL Database Flavors: How To Pick The Right SQL Database Flavor For You?

SQL, or Structured Query Language, is a database that has widespread uses with many flavors– which we will explore. As such, in our data-driven world, SQL is fast becoming an essential skill. Therefore, in this article, we will look at the most popular flavors of SQL databases individually and then compare the database flavors together. In addition, we’ll help you figure out the right choice for you; in case you want to learn more about some key basic fundamental query building structure– CRUD Operations.

sql database code
SQL code

Two Types: SQL vs NoSQL

There are two main types of databases: SQL and NoSQL. Before we begin, it’s important to know the differences between the two.

While SQL is a relational database that employs a table-based structure, NoSQL is a non-relational database that employs a variety of data models for accessing, retrieving and modifying database. Moreover, SQL has a predefined database schema, whereas NoSQL has a dynamically defined schema.

Additionally, the most popular flavors are mainly based on SQL rather than NoSQL— only MongoDB makes the cut in the top 5 databases in 2021—with other examples like Elastisearch, DynamoDB not used as often by developers. MongoDB is so popular because of the flexibility in offers in database design and the high performance it delivers.

The Most Popular SQL Database Flavors in 2021:

  • MySQL
  • PostgreSQL
  • Microsoft SQL Server
  • SQLite
  • MongoDB

Moreover, the Stack Overflow Developer Survey 2020 has placed MySQL as the most popular database:

sql database flavors popularity rankings 2021
Stack Overflow
FeaturesMySQLPostgreSQLMS SQLSQLite
SELECT QuerySELECT col1, col2…SELECT col1, col2…SELECT [col1], [col2]…SELECT col1,col2…
Current Date FunctionSELECT CURRENT_DATE();SELECT CURRENT_DATE;SELECT GETDATE()’;SELECT date(‘now’);
Case Sensitive DataNo; WHERE city = ‘London’ and WHERE city = ‘london’ are the sameYes. WHERE city = ‘London’ and WHERE city = ‘london are differentYes. WHERE city = ‘London’ and WHERE city = ‘london are differentYes. WHERE city = ‘London’ and WHERE city = ‘london are different
Column AliasSELECT col1 AS COLSELECT col1 AS COLSELECT col1= COLSELECT col1 AS COL
Natural JoinNoYesNoYes
ORDER ByAllows ORDER BY; NULLs are considered lower than non-NULL valuesAllows ORDER BY; NULLs are considered higher than non-NULL valuesAllows ORDER BY; NULLs are considered lower than non-NULL valuesAllows ORDER BY; NULLs are considered lower than non-NULL values
Inserting Multiple RowsYesYesYesYes
BOOLEAN Data TypeNo; uses TinyInt(1)YesNo; uses BIT(1)No; uses Int
Timestamp FunctionYesYesNoNo
Concatenationconcat(String 1, String 2)String 1 || String 2String 1 + String 2String 1 || String 2
List of DatabasesSHOW DATABASESSELECT datnameFROM pg_catalog.pg_databaseEXEC SP_HELPDB.databases
Dummy TablesNoNoNoNo
Window FunctionsYesYesYesNo; subqueries used.
Auto IncrementAUTO_INCREMENTSERIALIDENTITY()AUTOINCREMENT 
Key features and syntax comparison of SQL databases

MySQL

MySQL was created in 1995 to build on the original SQL, as an open source relational database management system (RDBMS). In addition, its queries are run on the MySQL Command Line Interface (CLI) or on MySQL Workbench.

Key Features & Advantages of MySQL:

In addition, MySQL has gained immense popularity for its efficacy, ease of use, performance and powerful execution and database performance:

  • Extremely fast for read-heavy workload
  • Capable of replication
  • Cloud-scalable database

Subsequently, let’s look at some advantages below:

  • Easy to use
  • Low memory leakage; memory efficient
  • Runs on all OS: Windows, Mac OS, Linux, etc.
  • High performance

Disadvantages of MySQL:

MySQL is one of the most used databases around the world. Still, it has some disadvantages you want to keep in mind. Let’s look at some below:

  • It does not handle transaction statements effectively
  • Lack of debugger tools

PostgreSQL

postgresql release years
Photo by Alibaba-cloud

PostgreSQL, or commonly known as Postgres, is also an open source object-based relational database management system (RDBMS) initially released in 1996. Moreover, its queries are natively run on pgAdmin, its client. In addition, PostgreSQL is a great database language for beginners because of its broad applicability.

Key Features & Advantages of PostgreSQL:

PostgreSQL focuses on SQL compliance; in other words, it is growing into one of the most popular flavor of SQL in recent years:

  • Client-server model architecture
  • Offers geo-location queries
  • Data integrity
  • Support for JSON data types

After that, let’s take a look at some advantages now:

  • Larger data storage for databases
  • Multi-version concurrency control (MVCC) without read locks
  • Creates views that are updatable
  • Creation of user-defined functions, triggers, data types, etc.
  • Runs on all operating systems: Windows, Mac, Linux, etc.
  • Robust and powerful
  • Huge community support
  • Compatible with many programming languages like C, Python, etc.

Disadvantages of PostgreSQL:

Despite all these advantages and features, Postgres, like any other language, also has its own disadvantages. Therefore, let’s take a look at some below:

  • PostgreSQL struggles in performance factors
  • It is responsible for more memory utilization of computer
  • Data replication is hard

Microsoft SQL Server

Microsoft SQL Server, or MS SQL, is a relational database management system developed by Microsoft in May 1989. Similarly, its queries are natively run on SQL Service Management System (SSMS). In addition, SQL Server is an important part of the Microsoft Data and Business Intelligence platforms.

Key Features & Advantages of MS SQL:

MS SQL is a language that’s growing in userbase with its widespread use. MS SQL is used by companies like Dell, Yahoo, etc. Therefore, let’s look at some key features:

  • Data compression
  • MS SQL is highly secure
  • Its installation process is streamlined
  • It offers different versions to suit personalized needs

Consequently, MS SQL is one of the most popular database languages today, so it makes sense to see some of its key advantages:

  • Free for developers
  • Useful online documentation
  • Debugging tools on SMSS
  • Great community support
  • Highly secure
  • Easy installation with automatic upgrades
  • Easy maintenance

Disadvantages of MS SQL:

In the end, there is no database language that is perfect. Therefore, let’s explore some disadvantages of MS SQL. In other words, like any other database, MS SQL also has negative factors that may affect your choice:

  • Performance tuning is hard
  • There can be a bit of learning curve
  • May be overwhelmed with the huge number of features offered alongside

SQLite

SQLite is a RDBMS built in C library with its primary use being in mobile applications. Unlike other databases. it is not based on client-server architecture, but rather makes use of the embedded architecture.

Key Features & Advantages of SQLite:

SQLite is gaining popularity for its features, customer service and quality. Let’s see its key features in the list below:

  • Configuration doesn’t exist– no installation required
  • Has an easy to use API

SQLite has a lot of advantages that we will look at now. Let’s see what these benefits are below:

  • Runs on multiple OS: Windows, Linux, Mac OS etc.
  • Installation not required
  • Server-less database
  • Flexible and fast database
  • Uses less amount of memory on runtime

Disadvantages of SQLite:

In the end, SQLite has the following disadvantages that we will look at now:

  • Performance compromised because of file system configuration
  • Write operations are recorded
  • Database file size is smaller (15MB)

MongoDB

MongoDB is a document-based database, unlike all the others on this list. As a result, it uses JSON-documents for storing data instead of tables. In addition, you can start writing query from its official editor available at this link.

Key Features & Advantages of MongoDB:

MongoDB is the most popular non-relational database because of these features:

  • Data stored in JSON-documents
  • Indexing used for traversal
  • Horizontally scalable database

In addition, the following are its advantages:

  • Flexible database schema, dynamically defined
  • High speed of access time
  • Easy to setup environment

Disadvantages of MongoDB:

After that, let’s look at some disadvantages:

  • JOINS not allowed
  • Data size is limited in MongoDB

The Right SQL Database Flavor For You Is…

sql database graph question ranknig
A graph from Datacamp

In fairness, it’s difficult to choose one database generically, since each database serves a goal or purpose.

SELECT e.emp_name, AVG(s. salary) AS average_salary
FROM employees AS e
LEFT JOIN salary AS s
ON e.emp_id = s.empid
WHERE e.city = 'USA'
GROUP BY e.emp_name
ORDER BY s.salary;

For instance, this code example above shows that the syntax is actually quite similar. However, it can be seen because the query output is same for MySQL, PostgreSQL and SQLite, there is not much syntactical differences.

However, Microsoft SQL Server is the one that consists of the most differences between all of them.

In other words, the right database for me may not necessarily fit or be the right one for you. As a result, each database is optimized for a specific purpose or need. Therefore, how do you know which database fits for you?

Above all, which database can you learn or base your backend in?
Then, let’s explore some key factors in helping you determine the right SQL database flavor for your needs.

Speed Of Databases:

  • MySQL is fast for concurrent activities
  • PostgreSQL is quite fast
  • Microsoft SQL Server is slower
  • SQLite is fast but not the fastest as compared to others
  • MongoDB is extremely fast for data retrieval since it uses indices to traverse

Performance Of Databases:

  • MySQL has limited performance optimization
  • PostgreSQL is responsible for high performance database
  • Microsoft SQL Server offers high performance and data compression
  • SQLite runs smoothly
  • MongoDB has a great performance because it relies on jsons

Database Sizes Of Databases:

  • MySQL supports limited size database in some scenarios.
  • PostgreSQL supports large database
  • Microsoft SQL Server supports large databases
  • SQLite supports big databases, but with limited file size
  • MongoDB supports large databases

Eventually, you need to ask yourself what factors matter most in your needs before you can aptly choose.

Which Database Should You Choose?

If you’re looking for a fast, high performance database that will be easy to use, MySQL may be the right choice. But, if you’re working on a much larger database or complex queries— PostgreSQL may be the right choice for you.

On the other hand, if you are working with highly sensitive data, then the security, integrity and sturdiness of Microsoft SQL Server may be the perfect choice for your needs. Similarly, if you want fast, portable, and reliable database that runs on multiple operating systems, SQLite may be great.

Furthermore, if your business and data requirements are evolving over time and you need to scale accordingly, the document-based database, MongoDB could be a wonderful selection.

Conclusion to Comparison of SQL Flavors:

SQL consists of multiple flavors of databases used around the world with varying popularity. In addition, these flavors of databases carry plenty of similar traits and syntactically are akin.

Similarly, we proceeded to look at the top 5 databases in the world today individually and then compared the results together; it’s hard to pick one generically since each database serves a goal or purpose.

In conclusion, I hope you will find this post useful. Please share your thoughts in the comments below. Also, like the post if you learned something new here. Subscribe to our blog. Stay updated on all related content. Lastly, let us know your thoughts about this post in the comments. Thanks for reading. Stay safe and stay healthy.

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