Quality Products International

Tag: China

China Northern Province Factory & Business Shutdowns August and September 2016

by on Jul.09, 2016, under China Manufacturing Blog

Hundreds of factories and other businesses will need to shutdown in and around Shanghai for several weeks leading up to and during the G20 summit.

It will affect businesses in Shanghai, Hangzhou, Zhejiang and Jiangsu from Wednesday August 24th thru Tuesday September 6th

If you are ordering anything from any part of China, and it is time sensitive and production or shipping may be overlapping Early August – Mid September we strongly suggest you work closely with QPI Ltd or your other people on the ground in China to ensure you will not be affected.

These shutdowns are (almost) common, and are typically aimed at reducing pollution around major events and forums such as this G20, World Fair, or most famously the Olympics.

Note, while your supplier may not be in that region, it is possible that they buy raw materials from, or subcontract services to someone in the region.

Even if the supplier is not affected, there may be transport delays, backlogs and other knock on effects.

Again, if your shipment is time sensitive now is the best time to start working with your local Chinese partner/s to make a close assessment of how it may be affected.

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DUPRO

by on May.04, 2014, under QPI Ltd Glossary Blog

DUPRO Inspection (DUring PROduction Inspection, DUring PROcess Inspection, Inline Inspection, etc)

DURPO’s can be conducted any time during the course of the production cycle and can include Sample Collection and other useful features.

It is proactive QC step and can often avert costly and time consuming problems from delaying shipment.

It is typically followed by a Pre Shipment Inspection

Some articles on DUPRO:

– DURPO – DURing PROduction Inspection, valuable element of QC

– DUPRO – one more reason – it tells the factory you are serious about quality

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DUPRO – one more reason – it tells the factory you are serious about quality

by on Apr.19, 2014, under China QC Inspection Blog

There is an expression that “the standard you walk past, is the standard you set”.

That is to say, that if you see something but do nothing about it, you are “lowering the bar” to that level in terms of what you and those around you really expect as an acceptable standard.

A DUPRO (DUring PROduction Inspection) demonstrates to the factory that on THIS order what you expect the quality to be. It also provides an opportunity to clarify any misunderstandings that may exist about quality. Finally is the only way in most cases to provide the opportunity to have the time to take any corrective action without delaying the shipment or blowing out costs.

Some people naively think that the discussion in the factory showroom, or trade fair, about quality expectations has some or any influence.

The reality is that those initial discussions have NO INFLUENCE over and provide NO INFORMATION about the real quality expectations that you can have for your order.

Anyone who has done more than one deal in Asia can rattle off any number of phrases and expressions they have heard to “downplay” the severity of quality problems some time AFTER the order is placed and deposit is paid.

Typically they will come up at a DUPRO, a Final Inspection / Pre Shipment Inspection (PSI)….or if you have not done any QC, sometime after your client has rejected the product!

They normally sound something like….

– Frankly speaking we have not had other clients complain about this

– This is the latest fashion

– This is what the best clients are demanding nowdays

– We think this looks better

– We know you clients will like it this way

– We ship to some very fussy clients in Europe (…or USA, or Australia, or…wherever) that are happy with this standard

The first thing you can do to set you on the path to a good quality outcome is to have a tight product specification. Most factories will welcome it, and the smarter factories will expect that a rigorous specification would follow up with stringent quality control.

The other “best thing” that any purchaser should do is book at least one, preferably two DUPROs as well as a PSI. The number of inspections will obviously be a factor of how well you know the factory and how much your shipment is worth….or more importantly, what will the cost be to your business if it goes wrong!

There is so much that can be said about why DUPRO’s are so valuable here are just a few points.

Key Point DUPRO

A Key Point DUPRO is one where a key point in the production cycle is identified and targeted for an inspection.

Typically it should be late enough in the cycle that the quality trajectory can be established, but not so late that corrective action can be difficult.

A great example is in inflatable goods. Generally the raw material is cut and printed before welding.

The ideal key point in production for a DUPRO is the first day of printing. The quality of the raw material can be checked as well as the detail and quality of the printing.

If there is an error in the printing or raw material, it is too late to rectify once welding has commenced. Also the cost and lead time in procuring new raw material will blow out the time and expense on the order.

In many cases, particularly on larger orders, if there is a problem with the raw material much of it can be redirected to other orders or returned to the supplier with minimal cost. In some cases, there may be enough time to organize a new batch of raw material without effecting the final ship date too much.

DUPRO & partial IQC (Inward Quality Control)

All good factories would have a robust IQC system. For more complex electronic or mechanical products it can sometimes be hard to effectively QC internal components that are “locked away inside”, such as a special “chip”, crankshaft, or any other key component.

A well timed DUPRO inspection can QC some key components before assembly as well as report on progress and quality of production underway.

DUPRO vs. Visit

Having a buyer visiting the factory in person during production is fantastic, though very expensive and time consuming. In many cases buyers cover a whole range of products and cannot visit all, or have a level of expertise in all products. While most certainly have an excellent grasp of what is ok and what is not, often inspectors who have a level of expertise and experience in a specific product area can find faults and defects that may not be readily apparent.

It is also often easier to negotiate a way forward with a factory, when a 3rd party inspector has pointed out the problems as it adds a level of objectivity.

DUPRO & Sample Collection vs. Sample Sent

Almost all discussions about problems with QC will start along the lines of “this does not look as good as the sample we approved”.

Some factories will send deficient samples, some will pick out the product much better than the typical standard in a batch. Neither are good outcomes, with consistently high levels of quality is what is typically expected.

Firstly it should be stressed that a Key Point DUPRO will typically be much earlier in the production cycle than a final production sample.

The PSI is typically very late in the cycle. The standard timing for PSI is 100% of the goods complete and 80% packed. Often the collection of the goods from factory and shipping has all been scheduled, and the PSI will normally be a day or so before goods leave the factory.

A DUPRO and Sample Collection should be as soon as the first goods are finished, normally some time well before the PSI.

The QPILtd inspector can report on the overall quality and collect a sample that is a typical representation of the batch.

There will often be enough time for the client to receive the sample by air courier and have on hand before the PSI is conducted.

That can often afford a valuable opportunity to instruct some late rework, include a particular check in the PSI, etc, etc

If lab testing is required, QPILtd strongly recommends the sample/s to be tested are collected by an inspector to ensure the sample is true and fair representation of the batch.

DUPRO vs. FRI / PSI (Final Random Inspection/Pre Shipment Inspection)

A PSI is a check of last resort and more akin to insurance than prevention.

In its essence, it is designed to protect the buyer from sending the final payment on goods that are inferior.

It is like insurance and does very little by way of preventing defects, UNLESS the factory knows that they buyer is serious before hand.

There is often limited time and practical scope to rework from a poor PSI result, so then the buyer is faced with the unpleasant choice of cancelling the order, and typically loosing their deposit as well as sales opportunity, or shipping compromised goods. Possible with an adhesive label over a printing error or similar.

DUPRO says you are serious in time to make a difference

Again, ALL and ANY talk during initial meetings, trade fairs, etc is of NO VALUE at all in the scheme of things as far as quality of goods shipped.

There are countless jokes about how divergent “talk on a first date” is from the reality of life, and I would suggest that is the best analogy.

While the client often laments how the goods produced vary from the sample, the factories are always lamenting about how quality expectations of the client were higher than expected.

The detailed product specification is a great first step however at least one, or preferably two or more DUPROs is essential follow through, if the quality of goods shipped in the order is of value to you.

It send a clear message to the factory that you are serious about he quality, in time for them to do something about it.

It may well lead to more negotiation on price or shipping dates, but at least you know early enough to get a chance to mitigate some of the damage if any.

It sometimes leads to a situation where the factory and buyer agree to proceed with this shipment at the requisite quality and then either renegotiate or part company.

There may be many outcomes that are all less than ideal, however all are better than a poor outcome at PSI stage, and certainly better than having a client reject a shipment!

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Linked In is now available in Chinese Language

by on Feb.25, 2014, under Asia Business

Many popular western networking sites are blocked in China and as a result the endemic Chinese versions of Twitter, Facebook and YouTube have close to a billion followers, with hundreds of millions normally online at any one time.

You can read more about all of that in my article Are you being seen in China? on CSIC.

One cool aspect of Linked In, is accessibility in China. Most Chinese users that I have spoken to have not had an issue with it being English only, largely as it is business focused and most Chinese doing business with the west have a very good grasp of English, especially written English.

None the less, I am sure that many Chinese will welcome the move, that Linked In now has a Chinese version.

Something that will certainly capitalise on the swaths of Chinese Netizens already active in the Chinese on line world is the functionality of allowing to add connections directly from other social network accounts like Sina Weibo and Tencent Weibo.

At QPI Ltd we certainly welcome the move. Apart from the obvious telephone and face to face meetings, we speak to most of our Factory and Quality Control contacts via some of the local Chinese networks including Weibo and QQ.

Having a Chinese version of Linked In will certainly make it easier for many Chinese to connect and Network on a more business focused platform.

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QPI & other CNY closing January / February 2012

by on Jan.12, 2012, under Asia Business

In China, many factory and office workers have already started leaving for their CNY holiday.

Most remaining factories will close down around the weekend of Friday 13th January, and the remaining ones closing sometime during the following week.

Some offices will re-open late January, though you should not expect factories to be operating “normally” until well into February.

QPI Ltd

QPI will be continuing to operate through Chinese New Year.

Though Chinese operations will be offline Thursday 19th January – Saturday 28th January.

For urgent enquiries please email qpig@qpiltd.com as it will fwd to the UK staff as well.

QPI Ltd Shenzhen office in Guo Mao will be closed Thursday 19th January – Thursday 2nd February.

Helmut will be working remotely, though will be online less frequently than normal, and should contacted by phone / SMS for anything urgent.

For additional information about CNY and how it may impact you, please see:

CNY alert

Post CNY Production Caution

CNY dates 2011 – 2019

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Chinese New Year Dates 2011 – 2020

by on Dec.10, 2011, under Asia Business

Chinese New Year (CNY) is the major holiday in Asia which especially effects production in China.

Many factories will close some days or even a week before the CNY date listed below.  They would not normally return to full production for several weeks or up to a month after the CNY date.

Year       Date                      Symbol

2011        February 3           Rabbit

2012       January 23           Dragon

2013       February 10        Snake

2014       January 31           Horse

2015       February 19        Sheep

2016       February 8          Monkey

2017       January 28        Rooster

2018       February 16        Dog

2019       February 5          Pig

2020       January 25          Rat

For links to other QPI Ltd posts about Chinese New Year, including its affect on factory production and quality issues in China, please see:

http://www.qpiltd.com/is-your-asian-supply-chain-cny-ready-not-sure-ask-qpi-ltd

CNY Alert!

Chinese New Year in China. More than just Fireworks!

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