22 Tips for Healthier Offshore Manufacturing Relationships
19. Research working conditions and make an ethical decision. Workers’ rights are not up to par with Western standards in many countries, so require a copy of your partners’ social accountability statements and, whenever possible, visit the factories in person.
20. Know when your work is being outsourced by your offshore printer. Do your printers outsource your work when their schedules are full? If so, to whom? Be sure you know where your products are being manufactured, and hold your printers and brokers accountable for this work, too.
21. Request a list of certifications. Butenschoen says you can expect reputable offshore printers to meet the same expectations and requirements that their U.S. counterparts do. If the printer is certified by Disney or Hallmark, this is a good indicator of the company’s social accountability and quality control, since these certifications are difficult to obtain. Also, most reputable printers will make their environmental policies available to you.
The Dangers of Hijacked Content
22. Take sensible precautions to prevent hijacking of your content. The printer’s global reputation is at stake, so hijacking of content is unlikely to happen at a reputable printer. Still, there are a number of questions you should ask as precautions:
• Do they monitor who comes and goes from their plant?
• Are the containers that leave their yard sealed, with 24-hour camera surveillance?
• How secure is their facility?
• How do they store your files?
It can also be a good precautionary measure to hire an auditing service to review them.