Last week, a local trading company called me for checking thousands of products, one by one. They had found defects on several batches, and instead of repairing them, they had just put them aside. They were probably planning to sell them on the local market. But all of a sudden the importer told them “we need these products in the stores, please find a solution.” What was the solution? 5 inspectors for 4 days, starting the day after.
This service (checking 100% of products) can come under various shapes:
- For small batches of expensive products (think jewels), a customer might want a 100% inspection. It is basically the same as a final random inspection, except for the sampling (100%) and the AQL (irrelevant, since every defect is put aside and refused).
- An issue with a production process might make some products unsellable. Sometimes the supplier is not sure where the limit between acceptance and refusal lies. A third party QC firm can come in and do a sorting job.
- In some cases, the customer badly needs some more products, and they have to send an inspection company to check the products that were previously seen as unacceptable. If they give revised (lower) standards, many products might be “saved” this way. (As a side note, I would say this type of double standard is not the best signal to send to a factory.)
So, let’s say you need to book this type of service. Here are some pieces of information you will need to give to the inspection company since they will heavily influence the amount of their quotation:
- How many products should be checked? Are they already all together?
- Should the products be checked for only one type of defect? Or for conformity on all criteria?
- Is there a fixed, written standard to follow? And/or a conformity sample? Or should the inspectors follow the on-the-spot instructions from a customer employee? (And will this person leave some written document approving the inspectors’ job?)
- Are the goods all finished? If not, when (for sure) will the last ones be finished?
- Are the products packed or not? Should the packing of accepted pieces be checked?
- What happens to the refused goods? Should inspectors re-check the products that are repaired by the factory? How long does it take to repair?
- What happens if inspectors find a higher quantity than announced to check? Should they go on and invoice the corresponding fees?