Quality Products International

Factory Vetting – even when full audit is not required

by on Nov.03, 2011, under China Manufacturing Blog

Most major retailers and brand managers require factories to be audited, both for ethical trading reasons and confirm the quality / capacity capabilities of the factory to manufacture the product to the standard required.

QPI Ltd can conduct such audits where required.

However a full formal audit is not always mandatory. In that case the client may consider not conducting audit as they can be quite expensive. The big problem is that sometimes that means the factory vetting process is neglected completely and sometimes with serious consequences.

Without some process to vet, verify or check a new factory or supplier, clients put themselves at real risk.

Most orders require a significant deposit, which is a large financial commitment and there are issues such as IP, or even complications like one “off samples” or tooling being sent, but not returned.

QPI Ltd has some options that are far more cost effective than a full formal audit but still protect the clients interests and mitigate many of the risks.

Comfort Check or Soft Audit

Many clients just want to know that the factory exists  and can produce what will be ordered.

The idea of the comfort check is something a much more professional than asking a friend to drive past, and a lot less expensive than a full audit.

Many “factories” on the internet are nothing more than a “trading company” operating out of a bedroom, or one type of factory trying to sell other products from another factory, to widen their customer base, or drum up additional business.

….all of which may or may not be acceptable to a client, however it is good to know what the true situation is.

The QPI Ltd comfort check can confirm that the factory exists, and appears capable and in good order.

We can confirm that they have the facilities needed to make the products being considered, check they have QC procedures in place, observe the level of workmanship to see that comparable products and quantities are being produced.

It is far less vigorous than a full audit, however it does provide a good picture of the capabilities of the factory.

Credit Check

While common in most parts of the western world, they are a little more complicated and less accessible in China.

…..however still very necessary.

QPI Ltd can conduct credit checks & company reports on companies in all provinces of China at competitive rates.

Something worth considering before sending large sums of deposit money to contact found on the internet!

After Vetting

Obviously the follow up of a well defined product brief as well as considerations to QA/QC, lab testing and inspections such as DUPRO (During Production Inspection), Pre Shipment Inspections (PSI) and  container loading inspection should be considered.

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