I published an article entitled China Production: Reduce Your Quality Risks Without Paying More, on China Business Success Stories.
It is a series of 7 tips for importers:
- Write your product specifications
- Put in place a QA system in your company
- Audit factories more effectively
- Qualify your suppliers at their cost
- Ask for regular reporting from your suppliers
- Force your supplier to invest in improving their processes
- Use production samples wisely
Nothing in the list above takes money out of the buyer’s pockets, but the impact on product quality should be dramatic. It is too easy to blame the suppliers for quality issues and misunderstandings. And it is too easy to ask for final inspections, and then punishing the factory.
I am amazed at the poor organization of the quality and/or purchasing services in some importing companies. Sometimes the Chinese suppliers are better organized than their buyers.
Of course, product inspections and laboratory tests play an important role. But they are just tools to use in an overall process.