- Manufacturing in China & UK
24th Jan '20
Hard on the heels of our Western New Year celebrations, our colleagues in China are ready to celebrate Chinese New Year (CNY). Both an ancient festival and a long holiday, it’s a chance to spend time with the family and enjoy a well-earned break. CEL Ningbo marked the end of the year with its annual celebratory meal. King Yin and the team at CEL Shenzhen have all headed off on eye-wateringly long road trips. Whilst, back at our UK HQ and Logistics Centre, it’s our job to keep the home fires burning. Here we share a little bit more about what Chinese New Year means to all of us at CEL Group.
When businesses are looking to manufacture in China, one of their early concerns is how the potential supply impact of CNY is managed. It is a holiday where everyone shuts up shop and goes home. For at least two weeks, and sometimes longer, the factories fall silent. This means there is a period of slowing down ahead of the holiday; plus getting back to normal can potentially cause delays too.
Our logistics team in the UK multiplies the two weeks by at least four. With 20 years’ experience of sub-contract manufacturing in China, we know how to make sure everything is in place to meet customers’ production schedules. This means that both our UK and China teams are even busier from the end of November onwards.
Simon Cartwright, Group Sales Director, adds, “Sales enquiries must be quickly processed too, often before Christmas. Customers’ expectations need to be managed, so they have a clear understanding of any potential impact on their plans. This is where having a supply chain partner handling the risks for you can make a big difference. A partner you can really trust with your business. Our aim is to make sure there are no surprises: unless they are good surprises, naturally!”
As our Head of Engineering, King Yin, confirms, “We all look forward to Chinese New Year because we are dedicated and working very hard most of the year. It is two golden weeks off work. I am looking forward to taking my wife and daughter to see our parents. This year we get to spend Chinese New Years’ Eve (24 January) and Chinese New Years’ Day (25 January) with my family. My wish for 2020 is simply for everyone to have good health and prosperity.”
Peter Humphries, CEL Group’s MD and Ryan Clark, Head of Engineering UK, joined CEL Ningbo at its annual factory celebration this year. Taking place just before the CNY holiday, it was a chance for all the team to enjoy a meal and celebrate staff awards. The evening was rounded off with lots of singing in a local karaoke bar. Ryan can actually sing in tune which was good news for our Chinese colleagues.
”CEL Ningbo has lots to look forward to in 2020! As the Year of Rat is seen as the sign of wealth and surplus,” explains Bishu Wang, MD CEL Ningbo. “Our annual celebration was a great opportunity to say thanks to everyone for all their hard work and commitment. Peter led the toasts for us this year. He thanked each member of staff, individually, with the traditional Gānbēi (Chinese cheers).”
With JD Fan – Production Manager at CEL Shenzhen – heading off with his wife and toddler, on a gruelling 15 hour drive to their home province, it reminded us how important the day-to-day drive to ‘go the distance’ is for our business. We have been manufacturing in China for many years. We have a lot of customers who stay with us because of the value we place on delivering the results they need.
CNY 2020 heralds the year of, not only the Rat, but also of the element, metal – particularly apt for a metalwork manufacturer. Metal symbolises strength and we believe one of our strengths is working in partnership, not only with our customers and suppliers, but with all our staff too. All of us are determined to keep delivering competitive advantage to UK OEMs through many more Chinese New Years.
So, together we wish you much happiness and prosperity for the New Year. And if we aren’t helping your business already, then let’s make the Year of the Metal Rat the one when we do!