Do I really need inspections?
Today, China is the world’s major manufacturing powerhouse and a prime sourcing destination for many brands and retailers worldwide. The procurement process in China got much easier over the past year’s with sourcing platforms, such as Alibaba, supporting and assuring the cross-border trade. And “Made in China” appears to be no longer always a synonym for poor quality. Nevertheless, there are still critical points to be aware of when buying in China, and good quality is not always given. Thus, an effective quality control mechanism remains a priority for any business looking to secure their supply chain.
Quality Assurance involves establishing and implementing a system that makes sure your quality standards are met. This involves social responsibility standards, compliance requirements, safety standards and more.
Quality control on the other hand is the physical check of your production line or finished products. It could be a visual inspection or a chemical test on substances and materials.
Before choosing your manufacturer, you should make sure to do your due diligence. Choosing the wrong manufacturer in the beginning, could result in higher cost due to additional required certifications, or implementing additional quality assurance systems. Especially in the field of consumer goods and consumer electronics, you should make sure that your manufacturer is complying with your local standards and has sufficient certifications. Sometimes an initial visit can help to get answers on many questions, while for bigger, more complex projects, an entire factory audit should be done.
Not every product type or every manufacturer in China needs an individual quality assurance system. And also not all of your production badges might need a quality control or a product inspection. But you should make sure that your initial orders are not backfiring due to a lack of supervision. You might only need to test a product in a laboratory to ensure your specifications are matched (e.g. testing whether the grade of stainless steel is correct), or a one-time quality control/ inspection to be sure you don’t have to expect a bad surprise when opening your container.
Many sourcing agents and inspection companies offer QC, inspections and other quality control services in China, advertising with low prices, while ensuring to find all quality issues. Here some guidelines when you should invest in an inspection or quality control service:
1. First order with a manufacturer and the order quantity is high
2. You are implementing your own product design
3. The end-customer or your target market of your product has a high quality consciousness/ quality expectation
4. You are a private label/ brand that is in the luxury segment
5. You are buying Person Protective Equipment – here you want to make sure that all certification is in place
Don’t take product quality for granted and find out more about our services regarding quality management, including quality control and quality assurance: www.guangzhousourcing.com/quality-management/
We are your eyes and ear in on the ground in China! – We are independent, working on your behalf to protect your business interests in the supply chain. Contact us to discuss your situation.