Ensuring product quality over time is one of the major challenges of all importers in China. But what makes for an effective quality assurance strategy?
qualification of new suppliers
1. Background checks on suppliers
Don’t let trading companies pretend that they own a factory. I you want to work directly with a manufacturer, run a background check on the companies that want to work with you. For example, on glo-bis.com, you can learn a lot of things (their assets, sales, profit…).
Don’t forget to get precise information about the factory where they intend to make your products. And get their written promise that they will not place production anywhere else without your written authorization (it should be included in your contract with the supplier).
2. Reliability audits on factories
Do you want to place orders in a factory that you don’t know? If you can evaluate its capacity and its quality system, go and visit it. If you can’t, appoint a QA/QC agency to do an ISO 9000 audit. Ask for an example of report before you book the service, to make sure you get what you need.
3. “Fit” evaluation of new suppliers
Factory audits tend to give a higher score to larger manufacturers, simply because they have more organization layers and more written procedures.
However, for your small orders, you might be better served by small factories. In this case, a visit from your staff is necessary. You will evaluate the owner’s personal motivation to take your order and to keep an eye on it every single day. When necessary, don’t hesitate to work with a trading company.