The global financial crisis has pushed businesses to focus on producing lower-cost items while retaining the high standards of quality and service that customers expect.
In the manufacturing industry, this implies that outsourcing to competent, established production centres in emerging countries has become a top concern for many corporations striving to preserve profits and retain consumers.
If you’re thinking about outsourcing your manufacturing or have already started, checking your suppliers should be a top priority 3rd party inspection services.
What is the purpose of a factory inspection?
There are numerous compelling reasons to stay on top of your outsourcing partners, including ensuring the quality of completed items and meeting the ethical standards of a growing number of consumers who do not want to support environmental harm or child/virtual slave labour.
The audit process may be broken down into many steps, some of which need to be completed on a regular basis and others which can be done on a “one-time” basis.
Initial Supplier Assessment – Before doing business with anybody else, it’s a good idea to make sure they’re who they say they are and, more crucially, that they can deliver on their promises.
Many connections in undeveloped countries would claim to represent manufacturing when they are really middlemen.
Being a middleman isn’t always a negative thing; it allows small businesses to access a larger market than they might otherwise.
The problem for outsourcers is that middlemen often have little influence over a producer’s relationship and are unable to fix quality or performance concerns.
Social Compliance Auditing – guaranteeing that your suppliers can fulfil specific ethical and environmental standards is a critical component of supplying items to a larger market.
Even large companies with established policies of ethical sourcing have fallen foul of failing to audit their supply chain for compliance with these policies; for example, the British retailer “Monsoon” was recently exposed in the national press for (unknowingly) employing child labour in one of their Indian factories.
It’s not worth jeopardising your hard-won reputation.
Supply Chain Auditing – You must check not just your immediate partners, but also everybody who supplies them.
You must also ensure that any parts or materials supplied by this chain are as promised in any initial agreements. Chinese manufacturers have a reputation for substituting components with lower quality, cheaper parts or for adding toxic chemicals to materials to mask manufacturing defects (including the local scandal of highly toxic Melamine being added to baby milk, resulting in the deaths of several children and severe illness in hundreds more).
Home inspection in Newmarket – the samples you got were flawless, but the items that followed them were not?
When dealing with outsourcers from underdeveloped countries, it’s a common story: prototypes are virtually flawless, but manufacturing requirements are loose, resulting in production runs that fall short of that quality.
Inspection of a small number of goods during early manufacture to guarantee that at least the beginning procedures are accurate, as well as inspection of final items before they are sent, may save time and money prim link.
In the case of big numbers, it may also be prudent to undertake inspections during the run so that any faults in the process may be corrected immediately before they create significant delivery delays.
You may also want to have someone go through your contract to see whether rejections are being disposed of properly.
This is an important aspect of brand management for high-value businesses, but it is often overlooked and accepted on faith. As a result, Asian marketplaces are brimming with rejections from all kinds of prominent brands.
Auditing a factory’s compliance in this area may help protect your brand.
Inspections during shipping and loading – if your goods are valuable, fragile, or must meet specific legal requirements for packing, loading, and labelling, it’s a good idea to audit the goods as they are loaded and through freighting to ensure that they don’t go missing, get broken, or fail inspection on arrival.
Large corporations may find it cost-effective to station personnel on the ground to cover all aspects of factory audits, while small and medium-sized organisations may find it difficult to offer the necessary depth at an affordable price.
If you find yourself in this circumstance, don’t scrimp on the auditing process, which might lead to recalls or worse, significant harm to your brand and image; instead, locate a local partner with whom to collaborate.
A partner that specialises in factory audits with both Western and local employees, to ensure that communication and cultural hurdles are not a problem.
Whatever you do, don’t skimp on quality; your clients will not be grateful.
You can locate a reputable China Inspection firm here, as well as stay up to date on all China Quality Control news.