Well, it’s that time of year again. For those of us that work alongside international companies, you may already know how much the holiday schedules can differ. Now is the time to make sure you are covered, if you haven’t already, for the next 3-4 months. The biggest holiday that causes some issues for us is always Chinese New Year. Sometimes, it is easy to think that only the holidays we celebrate are the only ones that exist and everyone else can work around our schedules, but that isn’t realistic. We live in a global economy where components are sourced from all over the world. No matter where the finished goods are ultimately produced, there are going to be issues with holiday schedules.

Chinese New Year

Chinese New Year takes place every year much like every other holiday. Coincidentally, every year something comes up where a customer is affected by a factory shutting down. If your products have more than a 6-8 week lead-time, you are probably already out of luck. You should have already had your orders going. If not, get them ordered now and push for shipment before January 21, 2019. Even if the actual shutdown is only two weeks for the factories in which you work with, we have found it best to plan for four weeks of lost time. The week before the shutdown the workers are excited and already letting their minds wander off into vacation mode. And the week after they return, there is so much catch up to do that it is hard to focus on anything but catch up work.

What Else Can Be Affected?

Not only do you need to worry about getting mass production out before the shutdown, but you also need to consider how your products that are in various stages of development are affected. Are you thinking you are going to get prototypes shipped to you on February 6th? Good luck! Your development teams need to be planning as well to ensure all steps of the process are taking the necessary precautions.

Recommendations

In contrast, we recommend that you give anyone who needs a heads up, when you or your office is out on holiday too, especially if you are doing business internationally. This ensures everyone in the process is taken care of, whether it’s the person leaving on holiday, or the customer awaiting a shipment. To be safe, plan ahead of any long holiday break and remember that your holidays are not the only ones that can affect your schedule. There is a great big world out there that has something to say about them too.