In the practices of sourcing from China, it is crucial to find good suppliers, and control the product quality. To achieve the goals, factory audit is needed to verify the suppliers, and quality inspection is necessary to assure product quality.
Factory audit refers to an onsite factory inspection that is carried out on behalf of an importer at the premises of the manufacturer before placing an order to a new manufacturer. Factory Audit is aimed at avoiding getting involved in a bind working with the wrong factory.
During the Factory Audit, the auditor records data and takes pictures of all the essential aspects for the importer’s reference for them to have an in-depth feeling and sense about the factory before any contract is signed.
Factory Audits are often the last step in the sourcing process. It usually takes place after screening a group of potential suppliers down to the serious ones.
It is important to get to the factory to confirm if the key managers will be available on the desired date. Surprise audits can only be carried in certain situations.
Some are also known for child labor, degradation of the environment and poor working conditions. Thus, you need to research your manufacturer, pay a visit to their premises and ensure that they are checked out before entering into any business agreement.
Quality inspection refers to the measures that are targeted at checking, measuring and testing the various product characteristics and then relating the results to the requirements to comply with laid down regulations.
The process is usually conducted by specialized personnel and cannot be handled by production workers. Products that are not in line with the specifications are rejected or returned for improvement.
The three major purposes of quality inspection include:
Identification of the problem with the quality
Provision of information to managers
Removal of the problem by managers
There are two forms of quality inspection namely final inspection and in-process inspection. Final inspection is carried out at the end of the production process while in-process inspection is carried out during the process of production.