Performing a quality inspection prior to a shipment is like a filter. It won’t catch 100% of the problems 100% of the time. But it should catch the BIG problems over 90% of the time.
More and more importers are disillusioned about the value of QC inspections. Many of them think (and, depending on who they work with, they are not necessarily wrong) that way, way less than 90% of BIG problems are detected.
Below are the major reasons why Chinese inspectors sometimes fail to notice quality problems that are BIG in their clients’ eyes.
1. Laziness and lack of discipline
Most professional inspectors are guilty of this.
For example, they don’t pick cartons from every side and every height of the pile, to save time but also to avoid bothering the factory.
There are actually 2 separate issues here:
1.1 They take shortcuts to go faster
A very common example: during the visual check or the testing, they often don’t check as many samples as they should.
As a result, their report is based on their guesses after checking a sample size that is much smaller than their QC plan calls for. The statistical plan is not respected, and in the worst cases the report means nothing at all.
1.2 They are unwilling to bother the factory
Many of them are tired of fighting. They want to work in a relaxed atmosphere, have a nice lunch, and avoid justifying themselves after complaints from the supplier.
For instance, they let the factory check (and repair!) the samples by themselves during the unpacking process. They pretend not to see this little game. And, of course, many problems are corrected before inspection.
2. Lack of training
When they need to check garments, some quality control agencies see no problem in sending inspectors who have a very superficial knowledge of textile products. Some sophisticated clients can suspect it after reading the QC report, but it is difficult to prove.
These inspectors are very slow in taking measurements, so they ask the factory to measure… and they write what they are told. Oh, and there are many issues that their untrained eye just can’t notice.
This is just an example. The same thing happens with electronics, ceramics, furniture, etc.