When is the Chinese New Year 2021?
Although the traditional celebration starts much earlier, the official celebration begins February 12, 2021. 2021 is the Year of the Ox. If your business relies on manufacturers in China or the other countries that celebrate the holiday, the Chinese New Year shutdown will probably affect your business — even if the factory is just one step in your supply chain.
How long does the Chinese New Year last?
This question can be answered in many ways. Generally speaking, the official holiday lasts for 7 days, however, most services and manufacturing companies close down for at least 14 days. In some instances, laborers celebrate the holiday for at least 28 days. Without labor, production and manufacturing companies come to a complete standstill.
Hundreds of millions of Chinese workers are expected to travel to their provinces for the Chinese New Year. While the official holiday only lasts for 7 days, the worldwide pandemic and extended celebration days can disrupt manufacturing by up to 40 days. This is because of possible travel and health restrictions due to COVID, which could result in Chinese workers not being able to return to work on time and in good health.
The Chinese New Year is a Big Deal
During CNY, every factory in the country shuts down… every single factory. The official public holiday only lasts for seven days. But, the majority of factories are fully closed for between two and four weeks. Chinese New Year, also known as the “Spring Festival” is by far the most important holiday celebration in China. For the average employee, it’s often the only time of the year that they can visit their families, making it the most anticipated and emotion-filled celebration in the country.
An Even Bigger Deal for U.S. Manufacturers
If you’re a U.S. company that imports or depends on goods from China, there’s a chance that your supply may be interrupted, or stop altogether. As mentioned above, most companies shut down their factories AND their offices, meaning no production, sales, or customer service. If not planned for in advance, this supply chain drought can range from 1-4 weeks.
Reduced product quality
When factories reopen after the Chinese holiday, workers may not come back at the same time, and sometimes not at all.
When workers don’t come back, factories must replace them quickly, which can lead to lower product quality and untrained staff working on production lines. As expected, when new workers are on the line, many products will not be produced properly.
Unfortunately, that doesn’t necessarily mean the factory will re-run your order and, in some cases, they may ship the bad products along with the rest of your order. Ultimately, you may end up paying for a run of lower quality products without many options, especially if you need those products immediately.
Since the Chinese New Year shutdown happens every year, most businesses do their best to prepare for the shutdown by increasing their production before the holiday.
This can often lead to an overload of shipments that need to be made right before the holiday begins. Factor in the chance that many workers will be leaving early to get a head start on their holiday, meaning fewer employees in the weeks leading up to the Chinese New Year, and there’s a good chance your shipment could be delayed in the buildup.
How to Prepare for the Chinese New Year Manufacturing Shutdown
- Plan Early – Assess your past sales and performance to forecast your inventory needs as soon as possible.
- Increase Inventory – Build up your most popular inventory supply just in case delays do happen. Better safe, than sorry.
- Boost Quality Management – Quality issues are typically highest before and after the Chinese New Year, due to increased job switching. Revisit your manufacturing inspection plan and increase precautions during this period.
- Communicate With Suppliers – No matter where you think your products are made, contact your vendors and suppliers just to be sure. Ask about their manufacturing calendar and if they’re expecting any delays.
- Consider Other Manufacturers – It’s good business sense to have a diverse set of manufacturing partners, never keep all of your supply chain eggs in one basket. If you’ve been considering other manufacturers, now is a great time to shop around and test the waters.
Amitron Is Ready to Serve
Many companies choose to work with PCB manufacturers in the U.S. during the Chinese New Year. Our quick-turn capabilities, exceptional customer satisfaction, and Southeast Asia facility make us a very competitive alternative to Chinese PCB manufacturers. In fact, many customers that try Amitron during this time continue working with us long after the Chinese New Year is over. Request a quote today to see how much money, time, and peace of mind you can save by working with Amitron.