In China sourcing practices, there are four key quality checks, each corresponds to a particular step in the production process. I recommend you keeping them in mind, when it comes to doing business with Chinese suppliers.

1. Initial Production Check

An Initial Production Check is the inspector’s visiting when all materials and components come in the factory. Factories are often suspected of lowering their costs by purchasing substandard materials, and this can be disastrous for the buyer. The Initial production check can also focus on the processes followed as production starts.

Sometimes this can also be critical, as Chinese factories very often cut corners and do not respect the buyer’s blueprints. 

2. During Production Check

A During Production Check allows the buyer to have an idea of average product quality, early in the production cycle. It is a useful and under-rated tool at the disposal of importers, who often only rely on final inspections. It usually takes place once some finished products have come out of the lines. If quality issues are found, what is already produced might be re-workable, and corrective actions can be taken for the rest of the job. It gives buyers the time to plan ahead and try to avoid delays.

3. Final Random Inspection

The Final Random Inspection is by far the most common type of quality check. It takes place once 100% of shipment quantity is finished and at least 80% is packed. So, it can be a real random inspection and suppliers cannot play games. It puts pressure on suppliers and gives power to buyers. Its objective is to confirm a shipment’s quality, rather than catching issues early.

Therefore, we usually suggest our clients to arrange both final random inspections and during production check, to avoid catching big problems at the last minute. 

4. Container Loading Check

It can be a worthwhile option in the case when the shipment requires special container loading. It can also ensure that the right kind of products are shipped out in the right quantity, or when several suppliers bring their products for consolidation.

Only the most sensitive projects require all types of inspection. Generally, only one or two of these tools are used, depending on the risks identified by the buyer.

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