Manufactures need to understand the impact that globalization has on their products and therefore they need to learn the basic concepts of quality control.
Quality control can be defined as a procedure conducted by manufacturers and service providers to ensure that a product or service meets the expectations of their customers. Quality assurance on the other hand means the actions taken to ensure that a product being developed will meet the specified quality requirements. In whichever case it is not always possible especially for manufacturers to test each and every product that is made in their factory. The solution would be to select a random sample from every batch manufactured but this has to be done is a systematic way.
List of the Key elements involved in quality control from the buyer’s point of view:
Create a detailed sheet of every product. Circulate this with every order so that your supplier can get a better idea of your requirement. Try and accommodate each and every detail about the product so that you can rule out the factory choice option.
If you get the chance of viewing the approved sample then always mark the sample with the date on which you placed the order and sign the sample so that the manufacturer known’s exactly what you have ordered.
Hire an inspector to review the pre production sample. If you are buying from a foreign country then you can hire the services of an inspector in that country as well. A pre production sample is a replica of the approved sample. At this point it is advisable to inform the supplier to include packaging together with the pre production samples so that you can get an idea of the quality of the packaging as well.
Once you have the above steps completed you should either opt for a 100% inspection or random inspection of the pre-packaged samples. Inform the manufactures in advance of the day on which you wish to make the final inspection before the goods are dispatched. If you choose to do a 100% inspection then your supplier will have to lay out your shipment in a very well-lit warehouse. The inspector will then compare all the items produced with the approved sample paying more attention to the areas that may have a problem. Do keep in mind that this is a time consuming process and therefore you may want to opt for; the other option of random inspections whereby before shipment the supplier will already have the packages ready as per the order and your inspector will select random boxes and inspect them as per the guidelines issued to him.
Finally, train your inspectors and work together so that they understand your quality control system. Try and encourage them to make the best possible decision in the best interest of the company. Make sure that this training is a continuous and ongoing process.
These are the basic steps of quality control and can be implemented by both small scale and big scale companies keeping in mind that all this really matters if you have good suppliers who are willing to understand your needs.
Colin Durbridge founded the Product Services Ltd., Hong Kong with a vision to provide quality inspection services to the companies outsourcing the work to China. It has been over 25 years now that he has been auditing companies across the globe. He likes to share his experience with others, so that they can chose the right company for their quality assurance services.