1 What Is Quality Control Inspection In China?
Product quality inspection is a quality control inspection that measures whether a product conforms to a standard according to a specific protocol. The scope of work for commodity inspection depends on the buyer.
Some buyers only hire an inspection agency in China for pre-shipment inspection, i.e. visual inspection of quality, quantity, packaging, marking and loading inspection.
Other buyers require a higher level of inspection. They require inspection agencies to go to the Chinese supplier’s location to inspect the goods during the manufacturing process and take samples for laboratory testing.
2 Why should you consider using a third-party Quality Control Inspection service in China?
For supply chain quality control inspection, the first party refers to the supplier’s internal self-inspection.
Second Party means the inspection performed by the Buyer.
Third-party inspections are performed by independent agencies that are neither the seller nor the buyer. However, third-party inspection services are usually specified by the buyer.
Third-Party Product Inspection vs. First-Party Product Quality Control Inspection (aka In-Factory Inspection)
Many novice buyers have this question: My factory has its own internal inspection, do I still need to arrange a third-party inspection? Of course it is needed.
Because the supplier’s quality control team doesn’t work for the buyer, they don’t necessarily have the expertise to spot problems with the product.
Even if problems are found, supplier QC comments may not be communicated to the buyer as expected, and the sales team or leadership may embellish the findings to make them look better.
Third-Party Product Inspection vs. Second-Party Product Product Quality Control Inspection (aka Buyer Inspection)
Many large buyers have established quality control teams in low-cost countries such as Adidas, Target and Adeo, which have established their own purchasing offices in Guangzhou, China.
But small and medium-sized buyers often cannot afford the high operating costs of overseas offices.
This is why third-party quality control services are popular, as they provide small and mid-sized buyers with a reliable, affordable, on-demand quality control solution.
3 How to Choose China Quality Control Inspection Service?
Situation Preset 1: If you are not allowed to be on site at the supplier’s factory.
First, of course, if going to a factory is impossible, then working on site is impossible. This has happened repeatedly since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. But that doesn’t mean there is no way to check product quality:
A small amount of samples can be sent for review.
A live video call can guide factory employees through several steps, assuring buyers that key requirements have been met.
Quality Control in China: Inspections, Audits & Lab Testing | QIMA
Situation Preset 2:This is the first time the supplier has produced this product.
If so, there are inherent risks. In most cases, third-party inspection in China should be carried out as early as possible to check the quality of the product in the buyer’s interest. The philosophy is to “help the factory do well” rather than “find defects and reject batches”.
For apparel and other soft products, it is common practice to hold a “pre-production meeting” on the day the product begins to be sewn to provide immediate feedback. Finished products are usually inspected a few days after production (about 10-30% of the total completed).
When it comes to the hard line, there is usually no “standard” approach, but I often advocate for a first article inspection (FAI) and then 4-7 days later to confirm that everything is going well.
The purpose of a P-P meeting and an FAI is the same: to confirm that everything is clear at the factory, clarify upcoming timelines if needed, identify problems early, and initiate investigation and response when problems arise.
So, does that mean you can skip the final spot check? If there are few problems found in early inspections and the risk of packaging errors is low, why not?
In all other cases, a final check is made if the cost is not completely over budget.
Situation Preset 3: If the factory has been producing the product before.
If the factory has a history of producing products with acceptable quality standards, there is no need to pay close attention. Of course, unless the sums involved are substantial, or if certain products do not meet your requirements, you will have a very high liability.
If you’ve just purchased an off-the-shelf consumable product, you may only need a final check when the first order is low.
Situation Preset 4: You cannot tolerate many defects in a product.
This is the last major question. If you can’t, then you have to plan from scratch. We’d be hard-pressed to find a good t-shirt maker willing to cut and sew an order of 500 pieces and keep the defect rate within 1%. The same goes for Christmas toys made in Yiwu. Just accept the reality.
Situation Preset 5: If you can’t work with really good manufacturers and can’t accept their products.
In this case, you need an independent team to 100% inspect their product and find defects. It may be cheaper outside the factory. Like I wrote before, this might save you money.
4 What is the difference between factory audit and product quality control inspection service?
Remember, supplier audits focus on the big picture and are usually done before a relationship with a new factory is established. Product inspection services in China are all about small pictures and are often used to help manage existing relationships.
Auditing helps you make good long-term decisions. They can also help you decide which suppliers to work with so you can get the best results over time.
A good mix of audits and inspections is very important in China’s quality control inspection program. So be sure to consider both to help ensure the success of your project.
Now let’s look at the part of the factory audit in more detail.
5 What kind of quality control inspection can a inspector do?
Anything that can be done with available equipment. Here are some examples:
- Take photos of products and labels
- Dimensions and Dimensions
- Visual inspection (find damage and defects)
- Function test
- Label inspection
- Drop test
- Water pressure test
- The goal is to verify that the product meets all specifications and quality control inspections requirements.
6.Looking at current challenges from China sourcing.
Recent product quality control inspection data shows that China’s AQL above rate hovers around 30%, a slight improvement on the Asia Pacific average and a clear advantage over other manufacturing powerhouses such as India and Bangladesh (failures in India and Bangladesh). rate reached 46% and 54%, respectively). In the supply chain, however, one-third must be reworked before shipping, leaving plenty of room for improvement, especially for brands and retailers that buy at scale.
Faced with these numbers, any brands and retailers sourcing from China must remain vigilant. This is especially true for high-risk product categories such as toys and children’s products, with Chinese-sourced toys firmly holding the lead in EU recalls.
These data help underscore the importance of quality control inspection and reliable on-site inspection services. For any Western brand manufacturing in China, the perfect third party inspector must combine industry expertise with local knowledge and experience.
A reliable quality control service must cover the entire procurement cycle: from on-site product inspections at different manufacturing stages, to comprehensive supplier audits and laboratory testing.
Quality control inspections allow you to minimize your import risks, save on production costs, and reduce delivery times. Our business practices are based on international standards.