Have you received a failed inspection report? If so, the Guided Import’s China Quality Inspection team is here to help. In this article, we’ll cover everything you need to know and do when you receive a failed inspection report from China.
If this happens to you, don’t panic. Take a deep breath, revise your approach and take comfort knowing you caught the issues so your customers won’t have to.
Depending on what type of inspection you performed, you’ll have some different options to resolve the situation. First, fight the temptation to curse out your supplier, as this will only damage the supplier relationship. Instead, start gathering information in order to make a rational decision on how best to move forward.
What determines a “Failed” QC inspection?
Resist the knee-jerk reaction to immediately cancel your order. An inspection result itself isn’t the only factor that you should use to determine whether your order should ship. Before you make an assessment, it’s important to know the nature of the failure.
Inspections are determined on a pass/fail basis using statistical tools known as AQL tables, or Acceptance Quality Limit tables. AQL tables are the standard tool used by inspection agents to determine the overall quality of your production lot.
AQL tables use statistical sampling to measure the quality of your lot. This means evaluating a small number of products in order to estimate the quality of the total lot. If the number of defects exceeds a certain predetermined limit, the inspection is designated as “Failed.”
Most Common Reasons Quality Inspections Fail
Let’s take a look at some of the most common reasons inspections fail
Misconceptions of Failed Inspection
As I just mentioned, there are many reasons why an inspection could fail – many of which may actually be acceptable to you. There is a misconception that a failed inspection automatically means the order should be delayed or placed on hold. The truth is that this decision should be made by the buyer according to the specific nature of the inspection report and the product.
What Steps to Take After an Inspection Fails
Failed inspections are commonplace in China, so it’s best to be prepared when they rear their ugly face. Every buyer should have a game plan in place prior to the start of production, should their inspection fail. You don’t want to be making tough decisions late in the game.
The following are 5 most common options after a failed inspection:
The following is a basic Checklist of what a SCAR should include:
*Note: Corrective and preventive action will depend on the severity of the quality problem(s).
*Be realistic: You won’t get good results if the person filling out this form does not have the factory authority to make changes or is not trained in Root cause analysis (RCA), a method of problem-solving used to identify the root causes of problems. Insist on qualified factory personnel to fill out the SCAR form.
As obvious as it may seem, make sure your original issues have been resolved before your goods are shipped. Ask for a re-inspection to make sure your old issues have been fixed and no new issues have been raised after factory rework.
No one wants to repeat this experience. To prevent this from happening next time, increase your involvement in production. You will want to take the time to document, clarify, and implement your standards by speaking to the right people in the factory.
If you want to improve your quality, follow this advice:
A word of warning
Don’t always expect your supplier to entirely alter their manufacturing for you. You can only have so much impact on the way your supplier conducts their business. Eventually you’ll have to decide if the issue is something that can be addressed by your small changes and suggestions, or whether the issue is the suppliers themselves.
Remember, it’s not your job to act in your supplier’s interests. If the supplier doesn’t value you and your business, who is to say they will implement your corrective actions? If you feel your supplier doesn’t value you as a customer, it’s best you look elsewhere.
To put it bluntly, manufacturing in China is always a dodgy business. Suppliers and buyers each hold their own expectations. Unfortunately, quality control can only do so much to help bridge this gap.
Every buyer should practice these guidelines whenever they conduct manufacturing in China. These guidelines can help improve your chances of improving and receiving consistent product quality.