In China, it can be difficult to find suppliers who pay as close attention to as you do, or as you expect them to do. You can imagine how costly it is when quality issues occur with your orders. For those of you buying directly from the factory, here are three general tips to help you prevent quality control issues.
1. Fully Understand your Products Quality Requirements:
Don’t rely on the factory to advise you on what is important for quality. Have a complete understanding of your product and the quality needs, especially for the market you intend to import to. Have a document made for the quality criteria so that you can have an inspection done according to your requirements.
2. Perform Third Party Inspection:
Though your factory will have its internal quality control, it is important and necessary to perform third party inspections. As you may know, there are countless companies that can help you perform authorized inspections on all kinds of products. Look for a company with a track record and experience with your item. These companies should have the necessary equipment and trained professionals to ensure quality standards for your products. If you are working through an agent, they may also be able to conduct a third party inspection or find a reliable company to subcontract to.
3. Conduct Testing at a Trustworthy Lab:
Depending on your product and the requirements of the country you are importing into, you may need to conduct testing on your product and get certification.
At the lab, very detailed testing will be conducted, for example material composition, reactivity to chemicals, flame resistance, etc. However, this method is typically contingent upon suppliers sending samples to the laboratory for testing, the disadvantage is that suppliers can choose to only submit high quality samples for testing, or specially “make” a sample for testing, which would not help identify quality issues with the final delivered products. So lab testing is a great complement to the third party inspection, but not a replacement.
If the testing is very important, suggest you use a trustworthy quality control company to pick up samples on your behalf.
A complete quality control process is very detailed and complex. With a good understanding of your products, your options for third party inspections and testing, you are on your way to a good start.