The Chinese New Year or CNY in the United States is often considered as nothing but a blip on the radar. For some Americans, the holiday is not as great as a regular New Year Celebration.
In mainland China (and even in other countries that celebrate the holiday such as Indonesia, Malaysia, North Korea, Singapore, South Korea, Vietnam, and Brunei) is very different from in the United States, the Chinese New Year holiday is a big celebration.
Imagine the Christmas holidays in the US, but longer, and with more extensive travel. Everything closes, and everyone goes home — sometimes for several weeks.
Prepare for Chinese New Year 2021
Chinese New Year (CNY) preparations begin on February 4, 2021, and last until New Year’s Eve (February 11, 2021). Chinese New Year starts on February 12, 2021, and ends on February 22, 2021.
This public holiday can be the longest week that has ever happened throughout the years. It can be up to seven days off of work for employees, though celebrations can last for more than two weeks.
The factory shutdowns for two weeks or so. The shutdowns are usually followed by massive demand from businesses which require an extra effort to make up the two-week delayed products.
It can be a huge impact for us who rely on shipping and manufacturing businesses, the Chinese New Year shutdown is an event that we need to be well-prepared beforehand to avoid delays that could be catastrophic to our businesses.
Even if we already get used to being prepared for some kind of delays and all, it is important to note that CNY in 2021 is 18 days later than it was in 2020 and COVID-19 can have unexpected consequences across the supply chain.
Get prepared for the year of the ox with the best kind of red envelope, keeping your business in stock of inventory!
Chinese New Year Shutdown Affects Businesses
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.
Chinese New Year might diver this year causing the closing of all factories and employees go on holiday for at least two weeks. Because of this includes management and production overseers at the factories, you may not be able to get in touch with your suppliers during this time. All production will come to a halt, and you won’t be able to get in touch with the factories until after the holiday ends.
Lower product quality
Even though when factories reopen, there is no way for workers to come back after the Chinese holiday is over at the same time, and sometimes not at all.
when workers don’t come back, factories usually replace them quickly which leads to lower 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 much recourse, especially if you need those products immediately.
Due to the fact that the Chinese New Year shutdown causes some issues which can lead to some businesses getting lower product quality, they have to be more prepared for instance by increasing their production before the holiday.
that is not only getting the lower quality products but it also causing an overload of shipments so that it needs to get it done right before the holiday begins. fewer employees is also the following factor of delayed shipment.
CNY shutdown 2021 schedule
Chinese New Year officially begins on February 12, 2021, so suppliers will begin slowing down or stopping production a week or so before. To prevent all the issues above we need to do some preparations including asking your suppliers when their offices and factories will be closed during the holiday. Here are some schedules for the Chinese New Year holiday.
- End of January: Suppliers will begin to stop production.
- Early February: Employees begin leaving the factories.
- February 11: All employees have left the factory.
- February 12: Chinese New Year.
- End of February: Employees begin arriving back at the factories.
- March 4: Most employees have returned.
- March 11: Operations are almost back to normal.
Because you know the Chinese New Year shutdown is coming, there is some way on how to get your preparation nicely to reduce the possibility of unplanned delays and keep your business running well as planned.
Here are a few suggestions that will keep you ahead:
Rechecking your past sales, and use them to manage your inventory need in the future. Taking more time to pay attention to the inventory management so that you know what you need when the time comes to order beforehand the Chinese New Year shutdown.
Don’t go overlooking something crucial and forget to plan if you don’t want to end up scrambling.
Just in case the dreaded delays do happen, make like a squirrel and build up a stash before the holiday hits. Be over-prepared with all of your most popular inventory, and stock up even on items that are less popular but have the potential to run out.
it is important to stock seasonal goods, especially those associated with Valentine’s Day, Mardi Gras, and springtime. Because it takes a few weeks for manufacturers to work out the kinks and get back up to speed after the Chinese New Year and just wait until after the holiday shutdown to order seasonal items may leave you in a pickle.
It’s best to make sure that you don’t run out of the important stuff, and that the seasonal stuff arrives in time for its associated holiday.
Get in touch with your supplier
Because most suppliers in mainland China — especially if you find them through a vetted service like ShipBob partner Soursify — have successfully navigated the Chinese New Year shutdown in the past, it’s a good idea to talk with them openly about potential problems. Keep in mind that places like Hong Kong and Taiwan also do large shutdowns for CNY.
Ask your supplier if delays may occur and work together to find effective ways to overcome those obstacles. If you’re unsure about the trustworthiness of your supplier (or if trying to communicate gives you a headache), sourcing platforms like Sourcify help you find pre-vetted factories and communicate with them clearly.
Though other countries in Asia do take time off for the new year (Vietnam’s Lunar New Year, or Tet Holiday, falls on the same day as Chinese New Year), none of them shut down as completely or for as long as mainland China.
Some manufacturers will have operations in several different countries. If you need inventory shipped and delivered on time during the Chinese New Year shutdown, check with your supplier to see if you can have some of your production moved to another location.
Besides potentially saving you during the Chinese New Year, this is also a wise business choice; best to not keep all your eggs (or your entire supply chain) in one basket.
Possessing quality management
The Chinese New Year shutdown is seen by employees in China as the most optimal time to switch jobs, which can cause some complications for you and your business. This may be an optimal time to keep an eye on quality issues coming from your manufacturer.
Some workers simply don’t return to the factories after the Chinese New Year, leaving suppliers short-staffed and desperate for new hires. When the new batch of workers begins at the factory, their lack of training and experience will often show in the quality of your products.
Make sure that you have a manufacturing inspection plan, and that it’s vigilantly followed during that time period, to ensure that your customers are getting the quality they expect.
Though the Chinese New Year shutdown can be a time of stress for many businesses that rely on suppliers in China, it doesn’t have to be. If you take the right preparatory steps, your business will sail right through the Chinese New Year without a hitch.
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