2 of 4
Labor controls
Ted Hornbein
Managing director of Asia operations, Richco
Replaced 20 employees with an $85,000 machine that must be replaced several times a year.

A tough new Chinese labor law went into effect on Jan. 1, requiring employers to offer employment contracts, a social security program and overtime pay. In addition, wages in China are rising by 10% to 15% annually.

Those costs forced major staffing changes for Richco, a Chicago firm that manufactures plastic fasteners, wire management devices and circuit-board hardware.

"We were running two, 12-hour shifts every day, but the new labor law restricted how long the temp workers could be on the job," says Hornbein. "It was difficult to find enough workers to cover six, four-hour shifts. Now I have a machine to do the work, which has increased my capital expenditure."

NEXT: Commodity cost crunch

LAST UPDATE: Aug 11 2008 | 8:04 PM ET
Sponsored by
More Galleries
Commuting is getting easier. Here's why The MobiPrize, conducted by SMART at the University of Michigan, recognizes innovation in global transportation. From microcars to auto rickshaws, these six startups are some of the standouts. More
A sampling of beers being made with traditional Latin flavors A small but growing number of craft breweries are including passion fruit, Mexican cinnamon and other traditional Latin flavors. More
Banks won't lend? Use these guys instead Banks often have exhaustive approval processes, high minimums, and flawless credit requirements. But there's a wealth of non-bank alternatives for those who need capital fast. Here are some of the leaders. More

Market indexes are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer Morningstar: © 2014 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Disclaimer The Dow Jones IndexesSM are proprietary to and distributed by Dow Jones & Company, Inc. and have been licensed for use. All content of the Dow Jones IndexesSM © 2014 is proprietary to Dow Jones & Company, Inc. Chicago Mercantile Association. The market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2014. All rights reserved. Most stock quote data provided by BATS.