Quality control when sourcing from China can be one of the most difficult challenges you face when producing overseas, but it doesn’t have to be if you know what questions to ask your factory before the production process begins. We’ve listed 8 questions below that will help ensure quality control during production and get you what you want: faster and cheaper than ever before. Quality control doesn’t need to be difficult if you know what to ask, so let’s get started!
What are your product qualities?
While it’s usually a good idea to perform a supplier audit and quality control check when you first start working with your manufacturer, doing so as regularly as possible is even better. Make sure you know what quality standards your product must meet and make sure those are continually being met. Remember: If you don’t get involved in quality control, chances are, nobody else will.
What is your production process?
Before you start production on your custom product, it’s always wise to ensure that you’re manufacturing your product in a responsible way. Your factory should be able to give you a detailed production process with steps and materials used. A factory audit is a great way of ensuring quality control while keeping costs low. The best factories are happy to have their facilities audited by customers.
What are your quality controls?
Knowing exactly what you need before you order your products will ensure that they’re made just as you want them. Make sure to ask your supplier what their quality controls are and how they go about ensuring quality control. If a factory is able to explain their quality controls effectively, it’s often a good sign that they know how to do so in practice, too.
How do you handle defective products?
If a supplier is selling you products made in China, you should insist on visiting their factory and meeting with their quality control personnel. This is called a factory audit. You should ask for proof of what it means and how often these audits take place. If you know there are problems with defects in production or safety records, then ask to see samples of past reports and product recalls that took place as well as any plans they have in place for making improvements.
How will you deliver my order?
To ensure quality control, it’s important that you ask your manufacturer how they will deliver your order. There are a few different delivery methods that manufacturers can choose from: FOB (free on board), CIF (cost, insurance and freight), and DDU (delivered duty unpaid). Each of these methods has its own unique level of risk for you and your business, so it’s best to get into as much detail as possible with your manufacturer.
Where can I get samples?
Samples are a great way to ensure quality and they can often be used as a bargaining chip when negotiating. It’s important, however, that you only use reputable suppliers who will send you high-quality samples that truly represent their products.
What type of technology will you use to produce my order?
If you’re in a hurry and are willing to take on more risk, then it’s probably better for you to order from a factory that has poor pre-shipment inspection. However, if you want each product of your order to be perfectly identical and polished, then you may want a factory that implements stricter measures of quality control.
Do you accept OEM orders?
For smaller businesses, there may be a big difference between an OEM order and a wholesale order. OEM stands for original equipment manufacturer; in other words, when you purchase products through an OEM order, they are made especially for your business.
If quality control is a concern, you should really ask some questions. Don’t just accept that your vendor will handle it for you; although most reputable manufacturers are trustworthy and diligent about quality control, not all of them are as conscientious as they should be. If there’s something you want done differently or want guarantees on, it’s best to ask right off the bat. We will come up with more tips in business management. Stay tuned!