The continued growth of Vietnam is the hot topic as noted in a recent article in Plastics News. When you read that mobile phone giant Samsung has its second largest plant in the world in Vietnam, you know the country is booming. So much so that McDonald’s has opened its first restaurant this year as well as Starbucks!
A few months ago we talked about all the benefits of manufacturing in Vietnam. Now, let’s address a few potential pitfalls!
- A younger, more inexperienced manufacturing workforce.
If you are used to the speed, efficiency, and volume of output from China you will soon learn that even though China and Vietnam share a border, their pace of life differs vastly. Some view China as ‘work to live’ while Vietnamese seek a greater work life balance and more ‘live to work’ approach.
- Improving Quality Plan
Vietnam has a rapidly growing manufacturing sector and a very young one as well. As Vietnamese manufacturing matures and more western manufacturing methods and quality systems develop, the quality levels will improve as well.
- Volume of Engineering Support
Depending upon which article you read the number of new engineer graduates in China are 600,000, compared to roughly 70,000 in the United States. The number of new engineering graduates in Vietnam is significantly lower. That means finding talented local engineers is a challenge. Finding a bilingual engineer even more so!
Looking back at the success we have had in Vietnam for so many years I would attribute that to 3 things:
- Feet on the street. We have Western Management and several European engineering managers accompanying the team and developing more local talent.
- We built our quality system into the process from the ground up. Our facilities and sub-suppliers must meet our world-class quality standards.
- We are realistic about our finished good production volume. Vietnam is not China.
After reviewing the benefits and potential bumps in the road we think the future is very bright for manufacturing in Vietnam. And we are not alone. Eric Lin, CEO of Peiyu Plastics, a Tiawan based plastics company who continues to invest in the Vietnamese market for one reason; “Everybody is going there.”
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