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How to Assure Quality for Manufacturing Products in China?

2024-01-24
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Manufacturing products in China can help your business save a lot of money on the product cost. The price any Chinese manufacturer can 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.

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.

China’s skilled labour force is what makes China one of the popular manufacturing hubs for businesses. If you own a business and plan on outsourcing your manufacturing process to China, then you need to do your homework properly.

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.

What is quality control?

Every company has its quality specifications. Quality control is the process of ensuring that products fulfill the required quality specifications. The quality control procedure is the most standard and common process that businesses follow around the globe.

there are 5 important facts concerning China quality control that you must bear in mind.

1. Not all Chinese products are of poor quality

Yes, some Chinese manufacturers 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 factories are trustworthy and experienced. They undertake thorough inspection procedures and ensure the finest product quality. An experienced sourcing agent can help you find these kinds of Chinese manufacturers. The manufacturers have invested a lot of time and money in acquiring the right type of equipment and skilled workers.

2. Knowing what you want from your product

Before you go about searching for suppliers to manufacture products in China, you need to first understand your requirements. This will help you communicate better with your suppliers and help them understand your specifications.

Ensure that you have a detailed plan in place. This should include CAD drawings of your product, materials that will be required, dimensions and other parameters. If you have any additional requirements, ensure that you mention those also in your plan.

Most buyers only approve the sample provided by the Chinese manufacturers 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 in writing to the manufacturer.

If you are wondering if it will be difficult to maintain such clear communications with the factory, be assured a sourcing agent will help you. They will be able to provide the manufacturer with clear-cut quality control specifications. Also, they will help you double-check that the manufacturer has understood every point clearly.

3. Cost and quality always go hand in hand

Unfortunately, most businesses outsourcing their product manufacturing requirement to Chinese factories 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 they 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. 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 even during peak season.
- The manufacturer should be comfortable working with third-party quality inspection agency.

5. Ensure thorough product inspections

Quality inspections play a crucial role here. Undertaking realistic but thorough inspection procedures is critical if you wish to maintain high-quality standards. It is never harmful to understand how product inspection works.

You can hire third-party quality inspectors to conduct inspections and share the reports with you. Inspections help you to ensure that your products are manufactured as per your requirements and meet the quality standards.

Generally, there are several steps to follow when it comes to product inspections. They are pre-production inspection, in-process inspection, and pre-shipment inspection.

Pre-production inspection

Pre-production inspection is carried out before the batch production begins. Here, the quality and quantity of the raw materials are inspected before the actual production starts. These types of inspections are carried out when you are working with new suppliers to ensure that the right raw materials are used as per your expectations. 

You need to ensure the quality of raw materials and parts. Some samples might be sent for lab testing as well. If there is any issue at this point, your QC agent will clear doubts concerning raw materials, manufacturing process, and relative requirements, etc. with the Chinese factory.

In-process inspection

In-process inspection is carried out during the production process. The production lines are evaluated to ensure that the entire production process is as per the standards, and the products are of high quality as required in the contract. QC inspectors take samples of semi-finished goods to inspect for defects. In addition to this, the packaging details are also taken into consideration.

During the production process, a qualified QC inspector will thoroughly check the first few manufactured products. Products will be tested and ensured that there is nothing wrong. If there is an issue with the product, the inspector will notify the manufacturer as well as the buyer and get the necessary correction done.

Pre-shipment inspection

Pre-shipment inspections are conducted before the final products are shipped. These inspections are carried out to ensure that the products are aligned as per your expectations or letter of credit.

Typically, this procedure is carried out when 100% of the order is completed and at least 80% of it is packed. It is not possible to check every product one by one, the practice is to undertake an onsite random sampling check. The experienced QC inspectors will pay close attention and find defects if there are any.

It is always better to have a quality control checklist prepared so that the supplier that you have chosen to manufacture products knows exactly what you are looking for in your requirements.

Your QC checklist should be simple, yet precise so that the inspectors can quickly glance through it and understand the inspection protocols. Your QC list should comprise 5 crucial components which are:

- Product requirements
- Packaging and labelling requirements
- On-site function checks
- Classification of defects

Specifying your product requirements is a crucial component of your QC checklist. If the supplier does not understand what type of materials to be used, the size or dimension of the product, then there is no point in going ahead with the production process.

The QC checklist should also have the packaging and labelling details on it. It should include details such as carton dimensions, weight, marking, and labelling. Certain products might need to be tested and certified by labs before they are deemed fit for shipping.

The next thing to include in your QC checklist is the defects classification, which can be divided into minor, major, and critical. On-site checks on products help you identify defects at an earlier stage and resolve them.

Conclusion

Having a quality control inspection plan in place can ensure that high-quality products are getting shipped to your customers. This will not only help in boosting your sales but can ensure customer retention.

After finalizing your suppliers to manufacture products in China, you need to continuously monitor them to see if the products are getting manufactured as per your requirements.

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