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How to Monitor Quality of Products Made in China

2024-06-13
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People from many countries believed for a long time that any product with the label "Made in China" was of inferior quality and would not last long. There were many such instances, where many businesses were in jeopardy due to sub-standard quality of Chinese items. Although, these days you will find many products made in China can be compared to the quality products made in other Western countries. However, the old perception still persists. So, if a company wants to outsource their products from China, they need to be very cautious while monitoring quality of their products that are produced in China.  

Therefore, quality control has to be a necessary step for every product. Whether it is made in China or somewhere else in the world, the products must go through the process of quality control. The primary goal of QC (Quality Control) is to examine the manufacturing procedures and specifications that your items will go through. The main purpose of getting your products examined is to make sure they fulfil all specifications and that you are not purchasing defective goods. It removes the possibility of placing a huge order for defective products.

In light of this, you must ensure that you have a strategy in place for conducting inspections at every stage of your production process, especially if the product is made in some other countries like China.

Why do companies prefer to source from China?

Looking back forty years or more, China was one of the world's poorest countries, home to a sizable population. China therefore started inviting companies from the West to take advantage of their large population so that they can produce their consumable goods at a cheaper price.

However, now China is no longer considered a poor country as compared to a few other Asian countries in that region, where also labour cost is cheap. Although many other Asian countries are also trying to grow their production base in their country but China is much ahead in the race.

If you analyse the reasons for the success of China, then the following are the reasons:

- Efficiency: China has produced a trained labour force, effective logistics, and a strong manufacturing infrastructure. This makes it possible to manufacture high-value products made in China while streamlining production and cutting expenses.

- Scale: China has an unrivalled industrial capacity and scale due to its large population and workforce. This is especially important for highly competitive industries like consumer products, home products, and electronics.

- Integration: China has established highly integrated supply chain ecosystems to maximize the procurement and assembly of raw materials. This shortens lead times and quickly satisfies market demand.

How to monitor the quality control process?

The quality control process can be monitored through three steps:

- Pre-production inspection

- In-process inspection

- Pre-shipment inspection.

If you want your product to be exceptional in the end, you should not skip any one of these processes. To better understand these steps and what to expect, let us take a closer look at each one separately.

Pre-production inspection

The following are the steps to follow during this stage:

1. Make a personal visit to China factory

Visiting the manufacturing site of a Chinese supplier is crucial for quality control. Relying solely on online information is insufficient. If traveling to China, ensure you inspect both the company's corporate offices and factory to verify legitimacy and product standards.

If a visit is not possible, hire a reputable service provider with technical expertise in the product and manufacturing process to inspect the factory on your behalf.

2. Check the background of the company

Do online research to check if there are any reviews or clues about the reputation about the company, including size, experience, quality, service, capability, and so on. Usually, disappointed clients may tell their horrible stories on forums, LinkedIn, or Facebook. At same time, happy clients may share their stories online. Nobody can hide in the internet world.

Request references and case studies from the manufacturer. Contact previous foreign clients to evaluate the quality of the company's manufacturing process and ensure it meets your company's quality standards.

3. Communicate your standards

Once you have verified the manufacturer's high-quality standards, clearly communicate your specific requirements. Develop and maintain a strong relationship to understand each other's business culture and resolve issues effectively. This relationship ensures mutual comfort and clarity regarding your company's standards, fostering smoother business interactions.

4. Discuss safety regulations

Every country has its own regulations governing the safety of goods imported into it. Your target market will determine these laws to a great extent. For example, there are trade restrictions that control the safety of tiny children who would normally possess teddy bears as their toys, if you are manufacturing and importing a shipment of teddy bears to America. To put it in another way, for your teddy bears to be approved and distributed, they must adhere to US laws and regulations.

5. Factory inspection

When you are looking for products made in China from a manufacturer who is thousands of miles away from your country and with whom you have never done any business before, it is quite essential that not only you pay a visit and meet the manufacturer in person but also check thoroughly, how the company is producing your goods.

If you are too busy or you cannot afford to travel such a long distance, then there is another option available to you. There are professional third-party inspectors available in China, whom you can pay and ask to offer their report after conducting factory inspection. You can tell him about the various parameters under which they will inspect the factory. The factory's production line's overall quality and its certificates can be examined by the inspector. Be sure to confirm the supplier's credentials and calibre.

Assign a staff member or qualified representative to monitor the manufacturing process in person, especially for initial collaborations. Despite prior verification, operate on a "trust, but verify" basis. On-site presence ensures standards are met and allows for efficient problem resolution during manufacturing.

6. Discuss your product specifications

Every product that you want to develop has certain technical specifications, which is very important to understand. To start with, you must create proper technical specifications with as much detail as possible.

The manufacturer in China who will produce your product in their factory can easily understand your needs by looking at your technical specifications. However, there may be many questions and doubts, which needs to be clarified at this stage. Therefore, you need to have an elaborate discussion with your Chinese counterpart so that you are sure that the manufacturer completely understands what you are looking for.

As in China only a few people can speak and understand English clearly, and hence you have to be patient while explaining about your product. Any products made in China can only be successful if you and your Chinese manufacturer are on the same page, which is very important.

7. Ask for samples

How much success you have achieved in explaining the specification of your product to your Chinese counterpart will be revealed when he offers you a sample as per your requirement. There is every chance that something or the other will be missing and it is during this time, you can explain them clearly what you are expecting. You may also conduct various tests on the sample at your own place before you approve the sample.

You will be able to determine whether your product sample satisfies all standards after your lab results are obtained. It is the stage where the changes can be done to the manufacturing process without incurring big losses.

8. Place your first order

Once the sample has been fully approved by you, then you can ask your Chinese manufacturer to produce it. For that you need to place an order after negotiating the price and all other commercial terms. It will be in your best interests to have a reliable China based sourcing agent oversee the ordering and manufacturing process.

Always keep in mind that your product is only as good as the people who create it, despite your excitement. Similar to your meals, you want to be certain that the food you are going to consume is flavourful and fresh. The same holds true for your product. The long-term quality and durability will depend on the materials you use. Before your manufacturer starts production, it is crucial to thoroughly inspect and double-check the quality of the material used.

In-process inspection

It goes without saying that you will need to monitor the production of your first product while it is being manufactured. It is, after all, your creation, and this is the crucial moment. Your ability to pay close attention and follow up will be quite helpful in this situation. By doing this, you will guarantee not just the calibre of your goods but also the timeliness of their delivery. You will get the outcomes you have been waiting for with a carefully thought out and executed product run.

We have put up a few tips and pointers to assist you in creating your new product line so that you can manage this process effectively.

1. Frequently check in with the manufacturer

By visiting the facility off and on, you can identify any issues that arise along the production process. To check in, you can also call or email. Just keep in mind that you must always send your written communication rather than verbal instruction. This will become a record and you can always refer your discussion and demand what was agreed by your manufacturer. Also, this will offer you a peace of mind.

2. Always check and verify your raw materials

When we are talking about quality, it is important that you must know the quality of raw materials that are going to be used to make your products. Therefore, you also need to specify the details of your raw materials too. Suppose you trust a particular supplier of raw materials. Then, you must clearly tell your Chinese manufacturer that he must procure the raw material only from that company.

If your supplies were substituted for ones, you were unaware of, that would be a terrible way to start the day. For any reason, don't forget to maintain tight incoming quality control over your production line.

3. Be clear on your delivery schedules

Your product is currently being manufactured and sent. You must be aware of a few crucial pieces of information. To begin with, what are the anticipated lead times? Will you receive your order in a timely manner? In the long term, having a highly precise production plan will make it easier for you to identify potential issues and develop solutions. Everything should always be followed up on before the production process is finished.

Pre-shipment Inspection

There is one more thing you can do to ensure peace of mind after all your hard work and follow-up efforts. It is the last phase of verification. Here is where you will find out if your run was a total success or not. To conduct your last check, find an agency that complies with Chinese legislation. Next, before shipment, he will inspect the quality and do the required compliance checks. You will be glad that you took this action in the end. You will be certain that there won't be any quality comebacks and that your product line has performed as you had planned.

Conclusion

It is up to each brand to determine how essential quality is to them in a product. Working respectfully and cooperatively with appropriate suppliers is essential if you want your products made in China are of high-quality.

China has a wide selection of vendors with different capacities. You should create and apply your own quality control systems, give precise specifications, and design your items correctly in order to achieve good quality. In this manner, you can achieve the precise results you want. Companies who don't follow through on these actions should not be shocked when customers don't think highly of their goods. We suggest you to read this article once again if you would like to understand more about how to manage the quality of your product produced in China.

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