About 3 months ago, my friend Greg designed an infographic about preparing a QC inspection checklist. It includes the definition of (a) product specifications to check, (b) potential defects to keep an eye out for, and (c) tests to perform on-site.
I just read an article (Product Inspection in China and Having the Right Equipment) that made me realize something important is missing.
One thing we have learned from doing product inspections in China is that you cannot rely on the factory to have the necessary test equipment when you are going to perform an inspection.
This is so true… Many small and midsize factories in China have very little testing equipment. And we are talking about Pantone books and calipers, which they SHOULD have somewhere to check their incoming materials or their work-in-process goods.
The truth is, most manufacturers don’t check ANYTHING at the professional level that importers would expect. And that’s exactly why the quality control industry has developed so fast in low-cost Asian countries.
So what is the solution?
First, make sure the QC checklist refers to the necessary inspection tools:
Ensuring that you have written down on your QC Checklist what inspection equipment should be brought by the auditor, and what should be provided by the factory.
Second, make sure this document is respected, both by the inspectors (for the small tools they can bring with them) and by the factory (for bulky devices/equipment).