If you are not professional in your inspection and assessment of the products flowing from your Chinese partner’s factory, they may very well not invite you back for more business.
As professional buyers, we need to be picky with our China suppliers when it comes to quality. But more importantly, we need to be professional in our ability to create a written standard for the quality we expect.
The ultimate goal is NOT to have defects, and the best way to avoid defects is for the factory to have a crystal-clear understanding of what your standard is and how you will inspect according to that standard (including the tools and techniques required).
For example, if you are buying red umbrellas, it is not sufficient to say: “My standard is a red umbrella”.
A professional buyer would state the PMS or Pantone # of red they want and also offer counter-samples of three things:
1. The darkest acceptable red.
2. The ideal red.
3. The lightest acceptable red.
The inspection protocol should also be well defined. For example, umbrellas are pulled from the line at random per AQL level 2, inspected against agreed counter-samples, and held at arm’s length under natural light.
In summary, if you don’t put down in writing a scientific and replicable inspection process for the key aspects of your product, there is a high likelihood you will get exactly what you didn’t want.
By Mike Bellamy
Mike Bellamy is an Advisory Board Member & Featured Blogger at the not-for-profit China Sourcing Information Center . He is also the author of, “The Essential Reference Guide to ChinaSourcing” and founder of PassageMaker Sourcing Solutions.