Categories
China Market Product Safety

A Marvel for Toy Manufacturing

ACG Alliance is pleased to announce Dr. Yenvik Zhong on board as the Senior Consultants specialized in China manufacturing and sourcing, OEM/ODM product design and production, and supply chain management and training. Dr. Zhong has been in Walmart China for over 10 years as the chief leader in factory assessment and qualification, manufacturing process improvement, and quality control for Walmart’s 4.5 billion annual toys, children products and stationeries.  He spearheaded the cornerstone protocols for Walmart factory production and lab test requirements while he directed a team of 10 staff and supervised over 250 suppliers and 300 factories. The Walmart’s private brand “My Life As” 18-inch dolls that has surpassing 3 million pieces in production last year was one of his legacy.

Dr. Zhong is truly a marvel in toy manufacturing” said Paul Chen, CEO of PC Squared Consultants LLC, “Everyone in the Toy industry who supplies products to Walmart know his extreme toughness on factory production processes, product quality, and root cause analysis.”

If you are a factory owner, you would like his endorsement for production excellence.  If you are contracting factories to manufacture your products, you would like him to walk through those factories to evaluate and improve every aspect of manufacturing processes.

ACG Alliance is a team of seasoned professionals from top tier toy companies coming together to help companies in the U.S. and China to improve their competitiveness in the areas related to people, product, operation, and risk prevention.  With Dr. Zhong’s participation, ACG Alliance is able to further succeed into China manufacturing industry and to better provide clients in facilitating factory engagements and management.

In addition, Dr. Zhong also conducts speeches in seminars and training courses in China for companies to escalate production capacity and learn the best practices and world-class standards in the global supply chain.  He will have regular articles post on the www.ACGalliance.com/posts/yenvik as well.

To reach Dr. Zhong, please contact yenvikzhong@163.com or ACG Alliance at 949-329-8120 or info@ACGalliance.com

Categories
Product Safety

Compliance in an Age of Transparency: There is Nowhere to Hide

You’ve worked hard to build your business, brand, and reputation. Yet, you are also aware that, despite your good intentions, there is always the possibility of some area of your business falling out of compliance. You also know that the consequences for not being in compliance with retailer or regulatory standards can be severe.

Multiple Compliance Concerns for Suppliers

We are living in an age of transparency. New technologies make it easier than ever to identify and address problems. Retailers have stepped up their own accountability programs and are actively policing supplier activities to ensure that internal policies, industry standards, and the law in the countries where suppliers operate are being followed.

Even more daunting is the fact that regulations, laws, and standards are in a constant state of flux. Without someone within your company tracking legislative, regulatory, and retailer policy changes, there remains the distinct possibility that you could begin work on a batch of products fully in compliance, only to find that these items are out of compliance by the time they are delivered.

Another consideration is that compliance isn’t even just about product design and manufacture. Concern about human rights has led to the concept of “social compliance,” which means that a contractor’s failure to meet labor laws and standards can result in a penalty for your business.

To make things worse, the media is hungry for new content and stories to fill up 24-hour demand. This means that news of even an unintentional failing, such as an industrial accident at a plant that you don’t even own, can reflect poorly on your company. As a result, you may not only have to work with your retailers to correct problems, you may also have a public relations nightmare on your hands.

Internal Frustration and Morale 

These overlapping compliance “layers” are not only frustrating for you and your compliance team, they can also create friction in the workplace. Your R & D and P.D. people want to see their ideas become tangible goods. Your sales and marketing teams want to get out there to pitch your product to retailers and consumers.

Unfortunately, your compliance team ends up in a gatekeeping position, constantly telling everyone “no” while checking on regulations, monitoring overseas manufacturers, and double checking your retailer scorecards. This can be a recipe for internal squabbles, hurt feelings, and lost opportunities.

How a Compliance Consultant Can Help

Given the complexity of supplier compliance issues, it can make sense for suppliers to outsource compliance issues to a third-party specialist. A competent consultant can address issues like risk assessment, materials sourcing, quality assurance, and social compliance while your team focuses on creating and marketing your products.

Another advantage to working with an outside specialist is that your team can once again start working together as a unit, instead of trying to police each other. For many suppliers, reducing unnecessary conflict not only leads to more effective compliance, it also improves morale and productivity.

If you are considering seeking outside help with your compliance program, PC Squared Consultants may be able to help. They offer a free consultation session to help suppliers understand what is at risk and the multiple services available that can protect your business.

Categories
China Market Product Safety Toys

Phthalates in Toys from China

Phthalates are a group of chemicals used as substances added to plastics during manufacturing to increase products’ flexibility, transparency, durability, and longevity.  Your everyday plastic products from toys, bottles, vinyl flooring, cosmetics, to even medical blood bags have some phthalates in them.

Studies have found phthalates can damage the liver, kidneys, lungs, and reproductive system.  People are exposed to phthalates by eating and drinking foods that have been in contact with containers and products containing phthalates.  The more frightening is breathing in air that contains phthalate vapors or dust may also go into your body system.  Children have a greater risk being exposed to phthalate particles due to their hand-to-mouth behaviors according to US Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Safety regulations all over the world have banned or put a limit on Phthalates uses for product manufacturing, especially for Toys, infant bottles, and other products that are normally used by young children.

However, phthalates make products more presentable and attractive on display.  Contract manufacturers or sub-contract manufacturers are still using these phthalates secretly to make their product easy to sell.  Recent two news “Greenpeace finds phthalates in EEU toys” from chemicalwatch.com and “Supervisors Scrutinize Safety of Chinese Children’s Products” from Sixthtone.com show these dangerous substances are still in use by manufacturers, “The head of one type of doll was found to be more than 18.4% phthalate” and “the Chinese standard is set at 0.1%.”

Phthalates in Toys should be an old news.  In US, Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has established bans and regulation in 2008.  News like these in China send alarming notice to US buyers and brand-owners to watch or test more frequently on products purchasing from China.  A single product sample test is not enough.  Random sample tests should be conduct more often for the safety of our children.

For more information on Phthalates standards, please contact Mr. Paul Chan, our expert in safety compliance.