Third-party inspection firms calculate their quotations on the basis of the number of man-days. If 1 inspector is needed for 1 day, it amounts to 1 man-day; 2 inspectors for 1 day (or 1 inspector for 2 days) means 2 man-days, etc.
For many orders, a one-man-day inspection is not appropriate. For example, a shipment containing 15 different types of tea sets takes several days of work to be checked in reasonable depth. Same thing for a container of 5 different styles of garments (each style being divided in 5 sizes, with 8 measurement points each).
This is part of the basic education that any new client who is not familiar with quality control needs. Most of them understand it and accept to pay several man-days for inspecting one order.
However, some clients just don’t get it (or pretend not to). They try to force their QC firm to keep every inspection at 1 man-day.
I noticed, these clients generally come from a particular type of inspection agency. The kind that advertises a fixed price, and that doesn’t say no when a client asks them to complete a job in 1 man-day. How are they able to do it so fast? Because they use photographers, rather than real inspectors.
By that I mean their inspectors are focused on preparing a nice report, at the expense of the service itself. They are supposed to uncover quality issues, but they don’t check the full number of samples indicated in their procedure. When you take all sorts of shortcuts, you can obviously achieve much more–in appearance, anyway.
All right, I admit this post was a rant. The next one will be more useful, I promise.
An infographic about sampling plan calculations
Some in-depth explanations about quality control basic concepts