Each year, Genimex likes to give our clients a heads up about the impact the Chinese New Year could have on their supply chain. Over the last couple of years, with COVID precautions wreaking havoc on operations, Eastern Asia’s annual shutdown of the industry has almost been the least of our clients’ worries. But with business finally getting back to normal, manufacturers are anxious to avoid any kind of relapse. Understandably, they have a low tolerance now for backsliding, bumps in the road, or hiccups. Companies planning to launch new products are especially vulnerable and need to be wary. If the timeline you’ve set for the stages of development does not take into consideration the three-week work stoppage, you could be in for a great deal of frustration and added expense.
This year, we would like to give our industry friends an earlier warning. We hope you can get a quick start on your Lunar New Year hiatus planning, and who is better to symbolize the advantages of a quick start than our little furry friend, the rabbit?
Welcome to 4721, the Year of the Rabbit
For business leaders who’ve endured a great deal of turbulence the last few years, the Year of the Rabbit, beginning January 22, 2023, should provide a bit of a respite. According to Chinese tradition, the rabbit is a harbinger of gentleness and serenity. The year brings rest, introspection, and truces between competing factions. It’s a year to take stock, heal wounds, and regain the balance we might have lost in the roaring year of the Tiger. But we must be cautious not to let our inward gaze turn us towards indolence. The rabbit who rests too long is liable to wind up as some predator’s dinner. Tradition warns that rabbits must be on guard against the influence of unscrupulous or malicious people. So, in this year of serenity, don’t be perturbed when old problems rear their ugly heads again. Remain calm and optimistic that this time you’ll find a lasting solution.
What Manufacturers Must do Now to Enjoy a Serene 2023
If you want to enjoy the benefits the Rabbit promises, you’ve got to finish out this year as the daring but conscientious Tiger. You might recall that last year we warned against overconfidence, which could be your downfall in the Year of the Tiger. A touch of humility and caution can go a long way. Knowing the Lunar New Year is coming, and the Eastern Asian industry will shut down from January 14 to February 5, 2023, you’ve got some planning to do.
If you have a set supplier and you’re already in production, fall is the time to ramp up production and build sufficient inventory to get through the weeks of inactivity. This way your shelves will be stocked in spring.
If you are developing a new product, you want to have your tooling ready before the Lunar New Year. This will allow you to begin production as soon as facilities ramp back up.
At Genimex, when we’re helping clients launch a new product, we like to have samples back before the New Year’s hiatus. We can then send those samples to the client, who can evaluate them during the down period. This eliminates any unnecessary waiting for the holiday to end.
Planning for the work stoppage requires you to make the most of October and November. We routinely help our clients plan each stage of product development to eliminate any inconvenience the Lunar New Year might cause.
The Lunar New Year Calendar for 2023
Preparations for the festival begin as early as January 14, 2023, in what is known as Little Year. This celebration lasts up to the eve of the New Year on January 21. What follows is 11 days of New Year’s celebration, lasting from January 22 to February 1. Finally, there are several days of preparation for the Lantern Festival, which is held on February 5th.
Most industrial facilities will be closed from at least January 14 to February 5. In most cases, the work stoppage will be longer since many workers leave the metropolitan areas for the provinces to spend the holidays with family. Some facilities may find they are short of workers when operations resume, so there can be additional delays ramping up production as suppliers must train new workers.
Western business executives often think we’re exaggerating when we say no work gets done during this time. But those who look for suppliers to fulfill orders only wind up frustrating themselves. The better strategy is to plan. Be aggressive. Set a firm schedule with benchmarks for performance that guarantee the completion of key tasks before the last factory whistle blows.
If you can play the fierce Tiger in the early weeks of autumn, you can be the serene Rabbit when winter arrives.