Quality Assurance Services for Importers in ChinaFactory Auditing
How well organized is a manufacturer?
How good is their quality system?
Is their product quality acceptable?
Before you give an order to a new supplier, do your due diligence by collecting information about the factory. Then you need to keep constant pressure by checking the quality of every batch.
Want to re-evaluate your strategy?
Need support with technical documents?
Wish your suppliers got better?
In a more expensive China, it will be more and more important to avoid mistakes and to keep costs low. We provide manufacturing- and quality- related services to support your operations on the ground.
Software for Importers
Want to rely less on email?
Need to be more organized?
Is past information difficult to access?
We have developed a web-based software that completely adapts to your internal workflow, and that is very easy to use.Designed with SMEs in mind.Currently in beta testing.
Factory Auditing Services
As an importer, your number one risk is to pay for a production, choose not to audit the factory, wait for the goods, and realize that they can’t be sold — once they are in your country!
You will probably not be able to send defective products back to China for repair, or to ask for a re-production at the supplier’s cost.
The solution is twofold:
- Factory audits: make sure the suppliers you find are capable and reliable.
- Quality checks: verify the quality of your products when they are still in the factory.
1. Factory audits: ensuring that you work with the right supplier
Chinese exporters are pretty good at telling you what you want to hear. If you are required to send a down payment (which will never be given back), shouldn’t you try to know where your products are going to be made?
Depending on your budget and your needs, we offer several types of audits:
1.1 Technical & Quality Audit (TQA) — for an in-depth evaluation of the manufacturer’s capability and reliability. It is the “standard” type of audit. Read More
1.2 Social Compliance Audit (SCA) — for an in-depth evaluation of social compliance issues. Can be based on our standard checklist, on Walmart standards, etc. Read More
1.3 Initial Factory Evaluation (IFE) — relevant for small factories (below 300-400 workers). And for buyers with a small budget. Read More
Pricing and service description sheet available upon request. IFE pricing starts at 279 USD, and TQA/SCA at 495 USD.
2. Quality checks: keeping an eye on the quality of your production
Remember, you are paying for your products, and you should be able to send a representative in the factory to watch production. This is very standard. If your supplier objects to it, it it highly suspicious.
There are basically three types of quality control services.
2.1 Final Random Inspection (FRI) — Confirm the average quality of a product batch, a few days before the goods are shipped out. The audit is based on a statistically valid sample. It is the most common type of inspection. Read More
2.2 During Production Inspection (DPI) — Catch issues as early as possible and point them to the manufacturer. And take samples at random for laboratory tests, in case you need to comply with strict regulatory standards. Read More
2.3 Packing & Loading Supervision (PLS) — Record the quantity and check the packing method. And supervise the loading method. Read More
Pricing and service description sheet available upon request. Inspection services start at 299 USD. Discounts are available for high volumes of work.
Quality & Procurement Consulting
1. Development of technical documents
You don’t have the time, or the experience, to prepare the documents that are essential to your success? We can help.
1.1 Checklist definition — In 95% of cases, the buyer’s specification sheet is not sufficient. As a result, the quality control process (both by the factory and by your representative) is imprecise and full of subjectivity.
The solution is to define the checklist before production starts (see what a QC checklist is), to translate it (optional) and to explain it to the factory’s technicians (optional).
1.2 Quality control plan — This is another essential document. It lists what the control steps (inspections and laboratory tests) will be, and who will pay in case of a failure. Get it signed by the supplier before production starts!
1.3 Help with FMEA — We can identify most of the potential points of failure before production starts. This is an essential step for importers who design custom products. The goal is to address all these points through better design, or to follow them up closely during production.
1.4 Purchase order review — for those buyers with little experience of China sourcing, we can provide guidance on the terms to include on the PO form.
>> Contact us today to explain your needs and get a quotation (we can offer a package).
2. Consulting and follow up
2.1. Consulting on your sourcing and QA strategy
- Are you afraid your organization is not adapted to your needs, or does not operate in an optimal manner?
- With more and more cost pressure, are you re-evaluating your sourcing strategy?
- Are you wondering why bad shipments are not stopped and reworked in China?
- Or maybe you are starting to purchase in Asia and you want someone to help you avoid mistakes?
Note that we can offer a package, with a monthly retainer, for small buyers who need advice along the way.
2.2 Project management of your orders
We offer daily followup of your orders by an office coordinator, in the same time zone as your suppliers and based on a rigorous method. If you cannot give us a workflow to be followed by the coordinator, we can help you define one.
Invoicing is based on hours of work. Communication is through email, our order management software, and/or your preferred software.
2.3 Consulting for supplier improvement
Are you losing money and opportunities because your key suppliers are not as reliable as you would like? Our sister company China Manufacturing Consultants can help improve a factory’s quality:
- Quality system review & guidance — make sure the manufacturer follows the right checkpoints at the right control points, with the right discipline.
- Operational improvements — fix the problems at the source through method & equipment reviews, mistake-proofing devices, and a rigorous problem resolution approach. This is how a manufacturer can reduce their defect rate from about 3% to 0.3% without increasing costs.
Software for Managing Suppliers
We have observed that most small and midsize buyers use email as a primary communication tool for managing their orders in Asia. They typically struggle with these problems:
- Absence of standardized workflow among the different purchasers,
- Lack of visibility on order progress,
- Difficulty in noticing production delays until it is too late,
- Confusion about what version of the specs was communicated to suppliers.
We have developed an easy-to-use, web-based software that addresses these concerns:
- It helps purchasers follow a project management approach, to avoid overlooking important steps and milestones.
- It helps purchasers spend less time on repetitive follow-up tasks, and concentrate more energy on value-adding activities.
>> Learn more about our order management software on Purvisia.com.