1. Failing to set up a system
The Chinese seldom try to develop a system based on good processes. This is at the root of the increasing number of large-scale failures in the country.
Chinese managers often put pressure on inspectors to catch all problems, and “we’ll see if the general quality level has increased next time I visit this factory”.
Consequence: no ability to audit the respect of the quality system
Since there is no system, nothing can be audited. And that’s a pity. Inspectors can’t properly be evaluated and coached along the way. It might also be impossible to understand why a lapse in quality happened… and how to prevent it next time.
Don’t get me wrong. A system can be very basic, to start with. With a few hours of work, it is possible to show a factory’s inspectors how to fill out a simple form every time they finish checking a reference, and how to communicate & archive their reports.
2. Not relying on data to take decisions
Understanding the context (cooperation from the factory, manufacturing ability, etc.) is a good start. But nothing beats a conclusion based on hard data.
Consequence: failure to focus on the most critical steps.
QA & QC efforts are not focused on the main risks. As a result, inspectors have to rush on the job and cut corners (remember, they don’t have a system to follow and they are not directly accountable anyway)… When they overlook an issue and they take the blame for it, was it their fault?