Procurement outsourcing in China can help your business save a lot of money on the product cost. The price and quality any Chinese manufacturer will offer will be hard to beat for the local suppliers in your country. After all, there is a reason why China is popular as the world’s manufacturing hub.
Every year, thousands of businesses and leading brands are attracted by the manufacturing units of China. However, still, the term ‘Made in China’ is often accepted as a negative notion. Well, this is because it is normally believed that Chinese products are not of durable quality. They are considered cheap products which are only good enough for one-time use.
Honestly, this is far from the truth. When it is to product manufacturing, overall quality control, especially in process quality inspection is given due importance in China. To help you make an informed decision when outsourcing your product manufacturing to a Chinese company, we are here to share some important insights about how quality control works in china and how hiring the right type of manufacturing sourcing agent will make a difference.
Nevertheless, before we start with that, it is important to understand the exact concept of quality control.
What is quality control?
Every company has its quality specifications and standards. Quality control is nothing but the process of ensuring that products fulfill the required quality specifications. Several in-house and third-party inspection is carried out to fulfill this requirement. The quality control procedure is the most standard and common process that businesses follow around the globe.
Well, of course, depending on the product, the steps of quality control may vary. That said, there are 5 important facts concerning China quality control that you must bear in mind. They are:
1. No Chinese products are of poor quality
Yes, some Chinese manufacturing units produce inexpensive and low-quality products, but they do so to cater to the needs of their buyers. If the company outsourcing its product manufacturing needs the product to be very cost-effective, quality will be compromised.
On the other hand, many leading manufacturing units are more trustworthy and experienced. They undertake thorough inspection procedures and ensure nothing but the finest product quality. An experienced sourcing agent can help you find Chinese manufacturers.
These manufacturers have invested a lot of time and money in acquiring the right type of equipment and skilled workers. They are even comfortable undergoing third-party quality control inspections as and when the buyers require them to. Also, they are willing to invest in high-quality raw materials, however, this is what brings us to our next point.
2. You need to communicate your quality standards clearly
Sadly, most buyers only approve the sample provided by the Chinese manufacturing unit and sign the contract. While there is nothing wrong with it, remember communication is the key. It will be best to provide precise quality standards and even safety standards in writing to the manufacturer.
Well, if you are wondering if it will be difficult to maintain such clear communications with the manufacturing unit, be assured your sourcing agent will help you. They will be able to provide the manufacturing company with clear-cut quality control specifications. Also, they will help you double-check that the manufacturer has understood every point perfectly.
3. Cost and quality always go hand in hand
Unfortunately, most businesses outsourcing their product manufacturing requirement to Chinese companies are only looking forward to saving on their manufacturing cost. Well, you need to understand that you will get what you pay for.
Acquiring high-quality raw materials, necessary machinery and equipment, as well as skilled laborers, will all cost money. If you are not comfortable paying for this, you cannot expect the product quality to be top-notch. The manufacturer will work as per your set budget, and so will be forced to use cheap quality raw materials and an inexperienced workforce, if the budget is low.
4. Always choose to work with experienced manufacturing partners
Finding an experienced manufacturer who specializes in your product segment is crucial. After all, that is how you can ensure adhering to necessary quality and safety standards. Your sourcing agent will be able to get you contracts for such manufacturing units. Nevertheless, before signing any contract, take the following points into account:
The manufacturer must have experience in making products similar to yours.
The manufacturer you hire should be able to handle mass production requirements even during peak season.
The manufacturer should be comfortable working with third-party quality control inspectors.
The manufacturer should be willing to provide references and legal documents like certifications and licenses.
5. Ensure thorough product inspections
Last, but not the least, undertaking realistic but thorough inspection procedures is crucial if you wish to maintain high-quality standards. Mostly, your sourcing agent will take care of the inspection services in China. However, it is never harmful to understand how product inspection works.
Generally, there are several steps to follow when it comes to product inspections. Nevertheless, to simplify the process, it is divided into three different services. They are pre-production quality inspection, in-process quality inspection, and pre-shipment inspection.
Pre-production Quality Inspection
Depending on the regulations and restrictions of your country, you might need to ensure the quality of raw materials. Keeping this in mind, your sourcing agent will start inspection right from the time raw materials are purchased by the manufacturing unit. Some of the samples might be sent for lab testing as well. If there is any issue at this point, your sourcing agent will clear doubts concerning quality specifications, raw materials, manufacturing process, etc. with the Chinese manufacturing unit.
This next step is very crucial in the quality control process. A qualified sourcing agent will thoroughly check the first few manufactured products, as well as involve a third-party inspector for in process quality inspection. Products will be tested and ensured that there is absolutely nothing wrong with them.
However, if there is an issue with the product, the agent will notify the manufacturing unit as well as the buyer and get the necessary correction done.
Meticulous in process inspection prevents manufacturing units from producing unacceptable and unsellable products. This step helps buyers in making sure that only good quality products bearing their brand name will reach the market.
This inspection is carried out before the product is shipped. Typically, this procedure is carried out when 100% of the order is completed and 80% of it is packed. For this part, it is not possible to check every product one by one, but the ideal practice is to undertake an onsite random sampling test. Again, your sourcing agent will pay close attention, and find defects if there are any.
It is possible to encounter issues like scratches, holes, or any other types of damage in the product during this inspection.
Why hiring a sourcing agent is your best bet?
Products sourcing in China is easy, but it can get tricky to communicate with the manufacturing companies, get all the necessary legalities completed, and ensure optimum product quality. This is where a sourcing agent will prove to be helpful. After all, there are several things to take into account before, during, and after the product manufacturing, and your sourcing agent will do exactly that for you.
Furthermore, it is only through a sourcing agent that you can ensure:
Finding a trustworthy manufacturing unit
Sourcing agents in China know all the ins and outs of manufacturing units. They can help you locate the most perfect match, especially units that have experience in manufacturing products similar to yours. Besides, they will even help you in negotiating terms and prices with these units.
Integrity of product inspection procedure
It is crucial to involve a reliable and unbiased third-party inspector to examine your made in China products. A sourcing agent will find you the best inspector to ensure the finest quality of your products. Also, if needed, your agent will rotate inspectors to get impartial product inspections.
Timely delivery of products
It is not just about getting products manufactured, but it is even about introducing your product at the right time on the market. Your sourcing agent will take care that manufacturing is done timely without compromising the quality.
Recognizing early product defects and getting corrections
A good sourcing agent will constantly remain in touch with the manufacturing unit and carry out thorough in process quality inspection. This way, it will be possible for you to correct any defects and thereby modify the product as needed.
Preventing financial losses
There are several ways in which sourcing agents can help you save money. For instance, you need not travel frequently to China to check on product manufacturing. Also, your sourcing agent will hire a third-party inspector as and when needed, so you do need not to pay an inspection staff full-time.
Lastly, to summarize it can be said, that it is very much possible to get good quality products manufactured in China at reasonable rates. However, you need to have the right type of sourcing agent by your side. Right from introducing you to good manufacturing units to undertaking in process quality inspection and shipping the product to your shore, your agent will do almost everything for you.