If you are considering manufacturing products in China, you surely understand the importance of quality control. After all, shipping products from China, or anywhere else for that matter, without any inspection or quality control procedure is a naïve thing to do.
Now, when you ask your manufacturer or supplier for quality control, the most basic answer you can expect is – Yes, we do have a quality control team. Well, they are not lying, and they have an in-house quality control team, but can you trust their effectiveness and efficiency? The short answer to this is – Definitely not. When it is about quality control in China, who inspects your products will make a huge difference in the product quality.
If you ask around, most of the importers will tell you that just relying on the manufacturing unit’s quality control staff is not sufficient. Getting a product inspection done by an independent quality control company is crucial. If this is your first time directly sourcing from China, here we have explained everything about how you can effectively manage quality control in China. So, let’s get started.
Outcomes of quality control inspection
Better quality of goods
A perfect combination of quality assurance and quality control will give you product quality as per your specifications and requirement.
Decreases the chances of product variations
With efficient in-process inspections, you can ensure that minimum or no variation will occur in the items. In-process inspection will let you know the underlying reasons for product variations and thus you can eliminate them.
Minimizes monetary loses
Without any thorough inspection, there are chances that you will end up with more defective pieces. The higher the number of defective pieces, the higher the monetary loss you experience.
Increases or maintains the sales margin
Quality control inspections will minimize the chances of you receiving defective pieces, and this means you need not sell any defective pieces at a discounted price.
Ensures consumer retention
It will take a lot of time and trust to build a strong customer base. When you supply products of consistent quality, your consumers will remain loyal to your brand. However, if the quality gets poor you are at risk of losing customers.
Enhanced consumer satisfaction
When you can maintain good quality standards, your consumers will feel content and happy. They will continue doing business with you as well.
The factory quality control team is not dependable
A manufacturer’s in-house quality control team usually consists of internal factory staff responsible for quality control, and no independent inspectors. Now, this doesn’t mean the layer of quality control is useless. Manufacturers must have a team dedicated to quality control, but customers should conduct inspections in their own way as well.
A factory’s quality control team can be sufficient only if they are producing low-quality products or promotional goods. After all, no one expects low-quality products or promotional products to last longer. However, when it comes to other products, issues overlooked by factory quality control staff can cause heavy losses for customers. After all, the factory’s internal quality control is not effective and undependable.
Who can help with quality control inspections?
When you want to source products from China, you should go ahead with a sourcing company in China. They help you in finding the proper manufacturer and arrange China factory audit. They want to retain you as a customer and hence will provide you with an unbiased quality control report. Also, their relationship with the manufacturer can prove to be helpful for you.
Third-party quality inspections
Third-party inspectors don’t work for suppliers. So, when you hire them, you can expect to get a perfect evaluation. They will inspect all the goods keeping your quality specifications in mind and work with your sourcing agent to ensure you know all the details of the inspection. You can always ask them to discuss their quality control procedure with you, and make amendments to suit your specifications and requirements.
Yes, you can conduct a quality control inspection by yourself. However, you will need to undergo specific training before you can do so. Professional quality control inspectors usually follow the most standard quality control procedure. This includes conducting – incoming quality control, in-process quality inspection, and pre-shipment inspection. These inspections give statistical validity to inspection results.
Now, when you are conducting an inspection yourself, some of the inspection details you will have to decide before going to the factory. These details include:
Size of inspection: Will you be inspecting all the goods or just a sample size? If you are inspecting a sample size, how large will be your sample size to reach a satisfying pass or fail outcome?
Types of on-site testing: What tests will you conduct? How much time will each test take?
Tools required for inspection: What tools will you need to conduct your tests? Will these tools be available at the factory or do you need to bring them yourself?
When you decide to conduct a quality control inspection yourself, keep in mind that you will have to prepare a lot ahead of time. Also, if this is a one-time thing, it makes sense, but if you are going to place multiple orders, traveling for inspection every couple of months will not prove to be cost-efficient.
Selecting an appropriate quality control method
Quality control inspections work best only when you have a proper understanding of your product requirements and quality specifications. Below are a few criteria that you must consider before picking one quality control inspection method:
History of quality issues of a particular product
The value of the product
Your target markets
Product specifications and potential quality issues
Production and shipping targets
Requirement of your end customers’ concerns
Third-party inspection works best
Most importers believe in hiring third-party inspection companies. This method works best if you want to ensure product quality, but don’t have the time or money to travel to China. Hiring a third party for Quality control in China might seem like quite a task, but the benefits make it all worth it.
Besides, you don’t need to develop an office space and hire a full-time staff. You can hire the services of third-party inspection companies as and when you need. They will conduct thorough inspections and provide you with detailed reports. The inspection report provided by quality control inspectors mostly includes the following details:
The total quantity of finished and packed products ready at the factory. This counting ensures proper quantity is produced as per your order, and a production timeline has been adhered to.
Number as well as types of defects found in inspected products.
Details of any type of noncompliance with the provided product and quality specifications.
Results of all the on-site testing conducted.
Pictures of all the inspected units, defects, test results, packaging, and any other relevant findings.
Furthermore, the staff of third-party inspection companies will represent your interest just like a full-time inspector would. They will not have any type of relationship with the manufacturer other than inspecting your products. They don’t have any personal relations with the manufacturer or any other company staff member. In simple words, they avoid all sorts of issues that can eventually lead to integrity problems.
Deciding product inspection timing
The best time to conduct product inspection is in-between the production. This will give you a clear idea of how the quality of the product is maintained. Furthermore, if there are issues with the product side, design, material, color, etc. they can be rectified.
Nevertheless, if you did not conduct an in-process inspection, conduct one before the product is packed for shipping and before you pay the balance amount. Find and hire a third-party quality inspection company well in advance, at least 3 weeks in advance. This will give them enough time to create an outline of your report, as well as plan the inspection with manufacturers conveniently.
To conclude, it can be said that you must have invested a lot of your money and time in developing your product and brand, and thus the last thing you would want is for it all to go into the trash because of poor quality control measures. So, don’t take quality control in China lightly. Do your homework, and get your products inspected thoroughly.
For any new business, mistakes are expected to happen. After all, it is a part of the learning process. However, you can always prevent expensive mistakes by ensuring proper quality control. Therefore, consider going for all three – incoming quality control, in-process inspection, and pre-shipment inspection to manage quality control in China effectively. Your efforts to ensure quality will pay off and take your business to greater height.