What type of inspection should you put in place?
Having a quality inspection is a must for all importers having goods made in China.The big question is when should you inspect and how much should you inspect?
Each inspection is a individual requirement. Some products require ongoing inspection through the entire production phase. Some products only need be inspected at the end of production. The in-production and final article are two that should form part of your next order;
source link In Production Inspection: Particularly useful for goods being custom made, and where meeting the production deadline is of the utmost importance. An in-production inspection takes place at around 30% of production process. It helps to identify wrong materials being used, and where there is still time for correction without affecting the completion deadline. We recommend an in-production inspection for most importers, however cost considerations usually result in a final article inspection only. During an in-production inspection, your inspector will go to the factory site and confirm your materials and the production process.
source Final Article Inspection: This is an inspection done at the completion of the products. Usually the goods are already packaged and awaiting container loading for shipment. An inspector will go to the factory and randomly sample between 2-5% (depending on AQL specification). This inspection looks at things such as production conformity, packaging, numbers and labelling etc. This type of inspection is fine for proven manufacturers that have a track record of making a standard product. A reference sample will greatly enhance the result of this inspection. Keep in mind though, that every order should be inspected as just because a factory passes once, doesn’t necessarily mean that they will be fine for each proceeding order. Final Article Inspections are also useful for picking up problems such as labeling mistakes, quantity errors, poor packaging and colour variations.
There is also the option to have your own representative at the factory from production commence to completion. Whilst this seems rather extreme, it is in fact common place for goods that ‘must’ meet strict materials and assembly specifications. In fact bigger Australian companies, especially those that design all there goods, work hand in hand with their factories, putting their own people on-site and even making recommendations for quality management processes to the factory.
The inspector that you employ for this role should preferably be skilled in the production skills set required for the said goods. They should also be trustworthy and prepared to work in difficult conditions, as they are not always welcome on the production site – as any bad report they send back to the buyer can result in production costs and losses to the factory. Normally, this type of inspector would be employed full time by you so they can devlope product knowledge and learn to understand your specific product quality expectations.
Chinese factories on the whole are accustomed to having inspections. Australian’s on the other hand are not and feel that perhaps its invasive or not necessary because from all outward perceptions the factory seems like a good factory. The reality is, that they are necessary. There are too many horror stories to write them off as a costly and necessary process.