Many Chinese factories have no dedicated area for third-party QC inspections. We often sit down in the packing department (because that’s where the cartons generally are), or in a meeting room (because that’s where we can get a large table without disrupting production).
In some cases, the factory is so small, we have to work on the desks on their office merchandizers. The worst case is to do the job on top of folded cartons…
My first choice–provided the inspection samples can easily be carried around–is the dedicated inspection room. The meeting room, if we are the only ones using it, is also quite good (and it always has air conditioning).
Why? For our own comfort and privacy? Not at all.
The reason is that we are not interrupted.
I got upset several times with guys walking around the packing department, spotting a foreigner (myself), getting closer and starting asking stupid questions. Whether they were curious or trying to have some fun is irrelevant. They just wasted my time.
Some inspection companies have a dress policy (either a vest of a certain color, or a “QC” sign around one arm). I dislike it because it draws the attention to the inspector and invites questions. But a QC inspector needs calm to keep his concentration and follow his procedure rigorously.
If you can’t close a door, put your Ipod’s earbuds on. You’ll do your job 25% faster. Seriously.
I like this quote from Jason Fried:
Would you expect someone to get a good night’s sleep if they were interrupted all night? Then how can you expect someone to get a good day’s work if they are interrupted all day?
I also like the concept of the “sterile cockpit”: during takeoff and landing, nobody is allowed to talk about something unrelated to the conduct of the plane. Excellent idea…