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How Can Product Quality Inspections Ensure Business Success?

2024-04-12
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Now we can call China as the largest manufacturer in the world. If you are in any manufacturing business, importer, or trader then it is very likely that you also must be sourcing goods from China. 

However, if you have any prior experience of manufacturing a product in China, then you must be aware that quality remains one of the topmost concerns. Therefore, it is extremely important that you must ensure that all the goods that you import from China must meet your required specifications. To maintain your reputation on the market, it is necessary that you must comply with certain standards of quality that you have set for your products.

It is essential that you must avoid any defective goods as an input to your manufacturing process. Therefore, in this article, we shall discuss how product quality inspections can ensure your business success while importing from China.

Busting the myths of the “made in China quality”

A popular misconception that some people have is that China-made products are not of good quality. But this is not the truth. The reality is that, with Chinese manufacturers, you get what you pay for. You choose a reputable Chinese factory, and you'll get premium quality products better than those manufactured in the USA and Europe.

You see, unlike countries like Japan and Korea, China has broken into the market at all economic levels, making its products affordable to people of all economic classes. You get the same product at different prices, with different quality levels.

As for product quality in China, you will find top-quality products that are at par with the global market along with the extremely affordable lower-quality ones. This should not be surprising because China is at the top of the game in terms of technology.

Chinese products maintain low pricing because of the incomparably low labor cost. Materials used for different products are pretty much the same across countries. Therefore, you can be sure that Chinese products are of high quality if you take proper quality control actions.

When dealing with a manufacturer, the important point to remember is to specify exactly what you expect in your shipment. This includes the material, finishing, function, and any intricate details.

1. Chinese manufacturers are aligned to client specifications

Some importers have the misunderstanding that their specifications may not be followed when they order from Chinese suppliers. But this is just not true. China - due to its technological superiority - can meet all types of client specifications. No matter how simple or complex.

Here is the truth about sourcing internationally. All outsourced production deals run the risk of not meeting expectations. This risk becomes manifold when the manufacturer you are dealing with is culturally and linguistically different from you. China gets massive disrepute in this regard because a lot of western businesses fail to navigate this cultural and linguistic gap effectively. With constant involvement in the process and having a Chinese-speaking employee on the team, you will be able to solve any challenges you face.

2. Chinese companies reasonably price suppliers of premium quality goods

When it comes to Chinese suppliers, one thing is true. No one can beat them at pricing. But sometimes this makes some importers wonder about the quality of the product they're being given. Here is the truth about Chinese product pricing. Among Chinese companies and manufacturers, prices vary quite drastically. This is because of three reasons:

- Extremely low-cost labor - which significantly drives down prices.
- Easy availability to local materials - which cost much lesser than imported materials.
- Access to homegrown production technology - most Chinese suppliers have cutting-edge technology, which allows them to automate certain tasks, allowing them to produce higher quantities. This in turn helps you get economies of scale.

Also, unlike western companies, Chinese companies encourage price wars in their market. So, you are bound to benefit from the incredibly low prices offered by some suppliers. Additionally, China quality inspection services usually cover aspects of overseas export and provide cost-effective bits of advice when helping you choose a manufacturer.

3. Chinese companies will ship products once you have signed off on the product quality

There's a reason why Chinese suppliers are so popular amongst so many importers around the world. They are sticklers for specifications and customers' satisfaction. The accusation that Chinese companies don't listen to their clients is based on scattered experiences that don't reflect the entire truth.

Product quality inspections in China emphasize pre-shipment inspection, of which client approval is an essential part. Pre-shipment inspections are done after about 80% of the production is done. This is then checked independently by a representative of the QC team and by the client themselves. This due process ensures that the products don't get shipped without a green signal from the client.

4. Chinese companies are very easy to work with

Working with any foreign supplier is difficult and it is wrong to blame just Chinese suppliers. The truth is many buyers don't like to shoulder any responsibility when it comes to sourcing internationally. The expectation that sellers need to know English or follow the same trade rules as in the buyer's home country, is not possible realistically.

When it comes to working with Chinese suppliers, it helps to have a Chinese-speaking employee on your team. When communication barriers and cultural barriers are reduced, you will see how friendly, cooperative, and helpful Chinese suppliers really are. You should also invest in translators, on-site representatives, etc. Once you do this, you will see just how easy it is to collaborate with your Chinese supplier.

5. Chinese companies have stringent quality control processes in place

There is a baseless assumption going around in the world that Chinese suppliers don't use any quality control processes. This is a blatant lie. The truth is all countries - China included - have quality inspections. Just think about it. If Chinese suppliers did not have quality control processes in place, why would they receive so much demand? Why would so many countries buy from China? The reality is that China has a system of quality checks in place. Several China inspection services can help you ensure that these systems are followed on your consignment.

Four types of quality inspections Chinese manufacturers implement

1. Pre-production inspection

Pre-production inspection is done on all production orders. This involves a detailed examination of the raw materials and the factory. The quality and quantity of the raw materials are assessed to make sure that they are adequate for the product in question. China inspection services also involve checking the factory’s production line and capabilities in terms of human workforce and machinery. Additionally, pre-production inspection can ensure that the timelines and checkpoints are realistic for the factory.

2. During production check

During production check is done for production that is already underway. This involves regular check-ins to ensure that the production meets the timeline checkpoints and maintains adequate quality across the production process. Random sampling is done to make sure that all products meet the quality standards. Also, in cases where the PIP was less than satisfactory, China inspection services conduct DUPRO as a follow-up to check on the compensatory arrangements made. DUPRO also usually involves checking on the packaging process and regular feedback.

3. Pre-shipment inspection

This is done by a China inspection company when at least 80% of the manufacturing is completed. Random samples are selected and tested against the relevant quality and safety standards as a final assessment. At this point, major corrections are rarely done, but there is still some room for finishing touches.

This inspection is a very important step because usually, this takes place just before shipping the products. They will check the following:

- Check the quantity and quality of the product.
- Detect any last-minute irregularities in the products.
- Ensure all products meet all the safety standards.

4. Container loading check

Container loading check is an important part of overseas consignments. This helps you stay on top of the loading process as well as the containers used in the process. Container loading check keeps a check on several factors such as the weather conditions during loading, the sturdiness of the containers, and the loading and unloading activities. It also involves making sure that the containers are securely sealed and appropriately numbered.

Best practices to ensure Product quality when sourcing from China

1. Invest enough time and effort into finding a suitable supplier

Do not make the mistake of going with the biggest, cheapest manufacturer. Find a manufacturer that meets your requirements specifically. Often, the big factories are less flexible about timelines and product specifications. When you are starting out with your business, it is important to find the right manufacturer for you, since you might be working with them for a long time to come.

Also, look out for factories that are not transparent about their working system. A lot of factories give out their contracts to smaller contractors. This often ends with you having no control over how and where your products are being made. A China inspection company can reduce the hassle for you by doing the research for you before you must make a decision.

It is also important to find a manufacturer that works in a similar line of production as yours. This way, it is easier to communicate the specifications about your product with minimal chances of misunderstandings. Another thing to keep in mind is that there is a good chance that at least some of the materials involved in the production of your product are not native to China. So, there is a good chance that they might not be familiar to your manufacturer. Include these aspects in your research and encourage your manufacturer to ask questions. A detailed demonstration can go a long way in bridging the communication gap.

2. Communicate expectations clearly

A lot of companies overlook the importance of clear budgeting when hiring a manufacturer. Whether it is a local or overseas manufacturer, it is important to communicate your budget constraints accurately. It is often the case that when budgeting is done efficiently beforehand, you end up trying to cut corners in the final stages of production, namely, quality inspections.

Expectations regarding the timeline you have in mind for the production process need to be agreed upon beforehand. Make sure that the manufacturer has understood and agreed to the timeline you set up. Additionally, get him on board for regular communications. An effective way to keep this system in place is to set up a payment system that is tied to the different milestones in your timeline. This way not only is the manufacturer motivated to adhere to the timeline, but you are also checking in on the product at different stages of production.

You also must keep in mind that different countries have different cultural practices when it comes to quality control. In several developing countries, a quality check is not as strictly practiced as in the West. So, often the manufacturers in these countries work under the impression that a ‘good enough’ product will sell as well as a ‘good’ product. This means, your expectations of the quality of the product might conflict with what they consider good enough. These products might be able to go in their markets, but your country’s quality control laws might put your business on hold entirely. China quality inspections, when done through China quality inspection services, often take into consideration the quality standards of the client’s country as well.

Conclusion

Product quality inspection is an important yet difficult part of business. If not done properly, you might end up with low-quality products unfit for the market. Without adequate experience in the area, it is easy to overlook details that might prove crucial in maintaining quality for your products. This is especially true because most manufacturers tend to cut corners on aspects of production that are easily overlooked by clients. Hiring verified QC inspection services in China is more of a smart investment than you probably realize.

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