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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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CRUD Operations: Understanding The Role in MySQL

SQL RDBMS are widely popular for usage in web apps for its database. It is open source and relies on tables to store data.
MySQL and CRUD operations

SQL, Standard Query Language, is a language used to query relational databases efficiently and manage data in an effective manner. CRUD operations form the backbone or core of MySQL.

MySQL is a relational database management system (RDBMS) that is open source and quite popular around the world because it is fast, reliable, flexible, quick processing, and has great community support backing it.

MySQL is used for a wide range of purposes, including data warehousing, e-commerce, and logging applications. The most common use for MySQL, however, is in web databases, or WordPress (wp) to be more precise.. 

In addition, we have recently posted an article on MySQL Master-Slave Server Replication, so don’t forget to read it if you like and follow this one. Since we know some of the major benefits and uses for context, let’s move on. Today, we’ll look at the CRUD operations in MySQL

What are CRUD Operations in MySQL?

CRUD stands for Create, Read, Update, Delete; in other words, CRUD operations refer to the most important operations in MySQL– basic data manipulation in the database. We implement these foundational queries to work with data from the database. In this article, we’ll look at the procedure to writing CRUD queries in MySQL with an IDE called POPSQL (pronounced pop-sicle). We consider CRUD queries a form of the DML (Data Manipulation Language), when working with MySQL.

Setting up the MySQL Workspace with PopSQL

First of all, let’s decide on the workspace editor/ide. There are a plethora of options available like MySQL Workbench, DataGrip, VS Code etc, but I have chosen the ide that I love for this post. Therefore, to get started with the workspace, head to the PopSQL website and download the ide. However, you can use any editor/ide you wish because the queries itself won’t change.

Before moving on, I’d like to let you know why we chose this particular ide for this blog. In other words, I want to share a few benefits of PopSQL: it is not only fast and efficient, but also extremely powerful with a beginner friendly UI.

We’ll have to establish connection with localhost and use a database to start working.

creating a database in mysql and establishing connection on popsql

What is the Create Operation in MySQL and What is its Role?

The Create operation is responsible for creating data objects in SQL like databases, tables, views etc. In addition, it allows the RDBMS to store data by providing the containers– tables. Similarly, this data can later be accessed by a different operation. Create command itself is only responsible for creating objects like tables and the columns under which you may later enter data to your pleasing.

Understanding the CREATE Operation and its Syntax

Here’s the syntax.

CREATE DATABASE database_name;

CREATE TABLE table_name (column_name data_type constraint(s));

CREATE TABLE mytable(
id int PRIMARY KEY,
first_name varchar(50),
last_name varchar(50) NOT NULL
);

Let me try and break down this syntax in a way that will be easier to digest for you, the beginners. The key things to notice here… the casing of the words, the text outside the bracket, the text inside the bracket and a semi colon at the end.

The only thing you need to understand about the case-sensitivity of SQL or MySQL is that it doesn’t care what case you use like C or Java or other programming languages. However, it is tradition to write SQL keywords like the one we are studying– CREATE- in caps to differentiate the keywords and the table and column names at a glance, to make the code more readable.

The second thing to takeaway is the word table_name. For instance, when we write CREATE TABLE, it makes sense to provide an appropriate name for the new table for the database storage.

After this, we open parentheses and start defining the columns in our new table. Similarly, there is a proper format/syntax for the column definition as well — column_name column_datatype constrains. In addition, we write down a name for the column, its datatype (date, char, varchar, number, int etc) and the character limit. After that, you write down any constraints you may want to implement on your column(s).For instance, if you want your salaries to be higher than the minimum wage or if you want your column to not accept blank or NULL values.

Here is how to create a database:

create database

Here is how to write the query to create a table in MySQL.

create table query in mysql to understand crud and its role

What is the READ Operation and What Does It Do?

The Read operation is perhaps the most used one for database retrieval purposes. It primarily makes use of the SELECT keyword. Read retrieves data contents from the database objects, like tables. Read command only affects data in the output; it doesn’t change the data in the database itself.

What is the SELECT keyword?

Select is a keyword in MySQL that retrieves the list of columns from a table in the database. It has six clauses:

  • select: specify the column name(s)
  • from: specify the table name(s)
  • where: specify the condition to apply on individual records
  • group by: specify the column name(s) to group query results
  • having: specify the condition on the grouped records
  • order by: specify the column name(s) to sort query results

Syntax:

SELECT col_name FROM table_name WHERE (condition) GROUP BY col_name HAVING (condition2 - only on x columns) ORDER BY col_name ASC/DESC
insert data into mysql table to be able to retrieve it for select statements. We retrieve data using select queries in mysql

The Update Statement

Update is a SQL keyword that modifies the data of one or more rows in a table. In addition, it modifies the data in a table or the structure of the table(ALTER keyword). Let’s look at two keywords involved with Update:

  • UPDATE: modifies the data contents in database objects, like tables.
  • ALTER: modifies the object structure. For instance, if you wish to add a new column to an existing table later on… Alter allows you to make that change. In addition, it is especially effective when you start working on a database that pre-exists and you need to make some changes.


However, we’ll mainly focus on the Update keyword today.

Syntax:

UPDATE table_name
SET column1 = value1, column2 = value2
WHERE condition;

ALTER table_name
ADD COLUMN column_name data_type;
update keyword of mysql crud operations to modify data and structure of tables

The DELETE statement

The Delete operation in MySQL removes content from a database objects, like tables or views. It deletes the data in one row or the whole table if a condition is not specified. It employs two relevant keywords:

  • DELETE: used for the contents of the table i.e. to remove the data existing.
  • DROP: used for the structure of objects like tables i.e. to drop a table means to delete it from the database, including all its contents.

The main difference also arises in memory storages, whereby delete only removes the content of a table, drop completely erases the table from the database, leading to memory optimization.

Syntax:

DELETE FROM table_name;

DELETE col_name FROM table_name;

DROP table_name;
delete keyword in mysql a part of crud operation to remove content of tables
delete keyword demonstration that deletes all of the contents in the table

Conclusion to Understanding CRUD operations in MySQL:

Maintaining a sound understanding of CRUD operations in MySQL, or SQL itself, is one of the most important things you can do as a beginner because this proves fruitful down the road… when you have this major concept stored in the back of your heads, you will not be confused writing these fundamental queries.

The best way to use CRUD operations in MySQL is with stored procedures, which are automated processes. This allows us to increase the efficiency and lower the time spent writing the same queries repeatedly.

In conclusion, I hope you find this post useful. Please share your thoughts in the comments below, and like the post if you learned something new. Subscribe to our blog to stay updated on all things related.

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