How to Perform Quality Control Inspection when Buying from China?

In today’s age of globalization, it’s nearly hard to discuss manufacturing without addressing China. Most import-export enterprises in the world have at minimum one supplier in China. While buying manufactured items from China has several advantages, it also has numerous challenges.

According to worldwide product inspection reports, China’s AQL failure rate is roughly 30%, implying that one among the three of items is either substandard or non-compliant with customs laws. However, by following “quality control inspection” practices, you may minimize quality concerns and limit the consequences of noncompliance.

In this blog, we’ll give a brief overview of quality control and its process. Plus, we’ll tell you how to find the best quality control inspection company for your products when buying from China.

So let’s dig right into it!

Chapter 1. What is Quality Control and its Types?

Quality control inspection plays an important role when buying goods from China. Why? It is essential to make sure the quality of your ordered goods is reliable before they are shipped to your place. Otherwise, you might suffer big losses if you end up getting goods that are of poor quality.

Before we dive into details and tell you the complete quality inspection process, it is best to first understand the concept itself. So let’s get started!

1) What is Quality Control?

Quality control refers to a system or process by which authorized organizations analyze and review the quality of all the elements involved in production. The Quality control system compares the product samples with the standard specifications of the manufactured goods to evaluate their quality.

QC inspection is a set of procedures and techniques that deals with examining manufactured products. According to ISO 9000, quality control is a part of quality management that pays attention to fulfilling quality demands.

2) What is Quality Assurance?

quality assurance

Quality assurance means the methodology to verify and certify that the products and services satisfy the quality standards. It helps to understand and ensure that the quality of manufactured items is satisfactory and meets customers’ requirements.

Quality assurance ensures that the produced goods and the services performed in manufacturing the products fulfill the defined quality criteria. It also explains the necessary measurements and standard efforts to check product design, reliability, and performance.

3) Types of Quality Control Inspection

Quality Control inspector

Three types of quality control inspections are carried out at different intervals to determine the quality of the products. A quality inspector or a third-party inspection company performs QC inspection at three defined times.

Here are those three types of quality control inspection;

a. Pre-Production Inspection (PPI)

pre-production-inspection

Pre-production Inspection indicates the quality control inspection performed before manufacturing and assembling the products. This QC inspection type plays a vital role in determining the quantity and quality of the raw materials that are going to be used in goods’ production.

PPI helps you understand whether the raw material and resources follow the desired product specifications. A third-party inspection company or a quality inspector examines and validates all the product components and raw materials before production.

b. During Production Check (DUPRO)

during-production-checking

As the name clearly suggests, DUPRO deals with inspecting goods when they are under production. Generally, this type of quality control inspection takes place when half of the products’ production completes. It may also occur when 25 to 75 percent of products have been manufactured and are ready to pack.

While performing During Production Check (DUPRO), the quality inspectors visit the factory and check if any product is faulty or out of order. They randomly choose the manufactured items and match them with the defined product requirements and specifications. DUPRO is the best way to determine product quality and ensure on-time shipment when production is underway.

c. Pre-shipment Inspection (PSI)

Pre-shipment Inspection (PSI) is a type of quality control check that deals with examining and validating manufactured goods before their shipment to the customers. This QC inspection takes place when the entire order of the items has been manufactured and is ready to deliver to the client’s doorstep.

PSI includes the final on-site product examination to verify that the produced items adhere to the factory specifications and fulfill the customer requirements. Therefore, Pre-shipment inspection (PSI) is also known as Final Random Inspection (FRI). It also indicates the final follow-up to ensure that the products are fault-free and perfect to be shipped.

Chapter 2. Why is Quality Control Inspection Essential when Buying from China?

Undoubtedly, QC inspection is very important when buying any kind of item from China. To give you a better idea, let’s discuss some key benefits of performing quality control inspections when buying from China. These advantages explain the importance and worth of QC inspection of Chinese products;

1) It is Essential for Finding Trustworthy Factories

trust worthy supplier

With the increasing number of fraudulent and undependable manufacturing units, finding a reliable production factory has become the most significant challenge. China is the world’s manufacturing superpower, with a 28.4% global manufacturing output share. The country is known as “the World’s Factory” and has many production units and suppliers.

However, sometimes it becomes difficult to find a trustworthy factory in China. This is why Quality control inspection plays a crucial role in finding reliable factories. Apart from ensuring the production of quality goods, QC check guarantees strict inspection and helps determine the reliability of the manufacturing units.

ISO organizations are experienced and skilled institutions that can help you find reliable Chinese factories while focusing on your requirements.

2) It Minimizes Variations in Production

Variability in production refers to the gap between the produced goods and their required quality goals. High variations in production lead to excess production costs and poor quality manufactured goods.

Variations in production occur due to poor product design, flabby functioning, unhealthy performance, inexpert workers, poor quality raw materials, and inadequate supervision skills. Even so, you can minimize the variability in production by performing a quality control inspection.

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You can point out and reduce the variabilities in production by adding suitable product examining steps during the quality control inspection. This way, QC checks can help reduce production variations and maintain product quality.

3) It Ensures the Timeline and Quality Compliance

 

Many companies hire QC inspection organizations and agencies while importing China-manufactured products. QC inspection companies better understand how much to inspect and how often they should conduct QC inspections. They review the products and compare whether the final products fulfill the quality benchmark of importers.

QC inspection companies perform pre-production inspections to ensure quality compliance with raw materials and product components. They also conduct During Production Checks (DUPRO) and Pre-shipment Inspections (PSI) to determine the proper packaging and timely shipments. Moreover, the process ensures smooth imports when buying from China.

4) It Helps Prevent Financial Losses

The faulty and non-sellable pieces in the shipment order from China are one the major factors that cause financial loss to the importers. A higher number of defective products in a parcel from China means a higher loss for an importer.

Quality control check plays a big part in preventing financial losses by reducing the import of defective products. It also minimizes the chances of receiving low-quality products from China that you unwantedly sell at a cheap rate. Hence, QC check helps prevent financial losses by enhancing and maintaining your planned sales margins.

5) It Increases Consumer Satisfaction

Quality control inspection is also essential to ensure that your customers get the perfect products that meet their expectations. The satisfaction level of consumers multiplies when they get the same quality materials as they expect.

QC check allows you to uphold the quality of the goods following your client’s demands and specifications. It also leads to consumer retention because you continue fulfilling their expectations by supplying them with the best products they want.

Moreover, quality control inspection helps you build cordial relations with your customers. Your clients will stay loyal if you continue delivering QC-checked goods to them from China.

Chapter 3. Who in China can Assist You with Quality Inspection Services?

Now that we have elaborated on the importance of quality control inspection and its impact on consumers and the profit margin of importers, it’s time to consider the reliable people and authorities who can help you with quality inspection services in China. At the same time, thinking that many importer companies from all across the globe order products in bulk from China. So, it may not be easy for all of them to visit China and perform QC inspections.

Therefore, we have found some trustworthy people who can conduct QC inspections on your behalf and ensure you get the best quality fault-free products.

1) Manufacturers 

A manufacturer is an owner or senior supervisor of the manufacturing company that manufactures your products. You can seek help from the manufacturer and ask him to carry out a profound observation and inspection of the products. You can also demand a detailed review report of the manufactured goods before they ship them to your address.

It is one of the cheapest and cost-free methods of availing of a quality inspection service. The manufacturer is more concerned with protecting the business interests and attaining long-term business relations with the importers. Therefore, he won’t charge extra money to conduct a QC check and send you the product review details.

However, a manufacturer may not religiously perform quality control inspections and may compromise on delivery timelines. So, it may not be the right decision to leave everything to the manufacturer and let him handle everything on your behalf.

2) Sourcing agent or Trading Company

Hiring a sourcing agent or a trading company can be an excellent option for importing high-quality products from China without any anxiety and inconvenience. Reliable sourcing agents and trading companies perform quality control inspections and help you source products from reputed and honest Chinese manufacturers.

Sourcing agents and trading companies work on commissions. So, they try to impress you with their best QC check and product sourcing services. They develop long-term cordial relations with your company and source top-quality products.

Above all, the sourcing agents have business relationships with the best manufacturers in China. You can connect with them through your sourcing company and earn huge profits by selling their top-notch products.

 

3) Third-party inspection services or QC

Availing of third-party inspection services or QC is another possible option for the importers to supervise the quality of products. Various well-known third-party inspection services in China carry out proper quality control checks on your behalf. All such services consider your product quality preferences and standards and perform QC inspection accordingly.

Third-party inspection services neutrally inspect and review the goods as they do not work for suppliers. But, it does not mean that you can have blind trust in them and allow them to manage the whole inspection process themselves.

It would be best if you also work with them to thoroughly inspect the goods and ensure that the products meet your standard requirements.

4) Self-inspection

Nothing can be more trustworthy and satisfactory than anything that you perform yourself. Therefore, self-inspection can be a good option for conducting quality control inspections. You can travel to China to review your goods’ production process and examine whether they are manufactured as per your requirements and expectations.

If you cannot visit China to check the quality measures due to your hectic business routine, you can also form your team for quality inspection. But, getting a separate inspection team may be highly expensive for you. Their accommodations, travel expenses, and training can incur extra charges adding up your import costs.

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Chapter 4. What is the Process of Quality Control Inspection?

quality control

Performing a worthwhile and constructive quality control inspection guarantees defect-free and high-quality products that fulfill the customer’s requirements. But, conducting a QC check is not a piece of cake as it follows a complete process. You must abide by each process step to avoid a financial loss and have the desired quality products at your doorstep.

Before we explain the critical steps of the QC check process, we highly suggest you make a quality control checklist. The quality control inspection catalog will help you review the products according to the specifications included in the inventory. Moreover, it will work as a reminder, and you will not miss any significant products requirement while performing QC inspection.

If you hire an inspector or agency, you can ask them for the checklist. First, review their list and add the missing specifications, if any. QC inspection checklist will help your inspector to know how much to inspect and how often to conduct quality control checks.

So, here are the key steps to effectively perform the QC inspection process;

1) Choose Random Samples for Inspection

Most importer companies and businesses understand the worth of pulling random samples while conducting QC inspection. A thorough examination and validation of random product samples play a significant part in preparing a fair and reliable QC inspection report.

If you are performing a quality control inspection, pull random samples for examination and make a quality control checklist. When preparing a QC checklist, do not forget to mention the number of units you reviewed while conducting the QC check.

However, if you have hired a quality control inspector or an agency to carry out QC inspection on your behalf, you must handover him the checklist for better examination. Inspectors use the index to verify several product features and then inspect the random samples accordingly.

Specifying the number of randomly inspected sample units in the quality checklist will help the inspectors pull the desired amount of samples for inspection. Ultimately, it will help you get the perfect report you need.

2) Examine Product Samples against Standard Specifications

Now that you have drawn the random product samples, it’s time to check them against the specifications and requirements you want to see in a product. Examining product samples against the standard specifications has multiple benefits. It provides immediate insight into those products and helps you decide whether buying such products is worthwhile.

You can direct your inspectors about the necessary product qualities and specifications they need to check while observing the product samples. It would be best if you provide them with a checklist containing all the desired product specifications, including the products’ weight, dimensions, color, material type, general appearance, and labeling.

Usually, the inspectors do not check the information and specifications mentioned in the inspection checklist. So, you need to be fully concentrated when making a checklist and double-check that you have included each information and product requirement in the list.

3) Check Packaging Requirements

Packaging

The next crucial step while processing QC inspection is verifying the packaging conditions and obligations. Looking out the packing specifications is not challenging as everyone can quickly spot problems in product packaging. But there is a probability that your inspector might miss some of the core packaging requirements not included in the inspection catalog.

Suppose you forgot to include the tape or label type in your inspection directory. If you wanted transparent tape on the cartons, your supplier wrapped them with opaque tape. Your inspector may pass the packaging, as you failed to mention the tape type on the checklist.

Therefore, mentioning each packaging requirement in your inspection report is mandatory to help your inspector perform proper packaging verification.

You must add the following essential packaging requirements to your inspection checklist;

  • Shipper dimensions
  • Shipper weight
  • Type of cardboard material
  • Number of layers (single or double)
  • Kind of tape (transparent or opaque)
  • Strapping band (nylon or metal)
  • Binding material (glue or staples)

4) Analyzing and Reporting Quality Defects

Young engineer with quality control inspector in factory. Shallow DOF. Developed from RAW; retouched with special care

Professional sourcing agents and QC inspectors clearly understand and classify the possible quality defects in a product. So, if you are hiring a sourcing company or an inspector, you can ask them for the quality defects report. On the contrary, if you are personally performing a QC inspection, you must prepare an appropriate report on product quality defects.

A reliable quality defects report classifies product defects and faults into three different classes;

  1. Critical
  2. Significant
  3. Minor

The classification of quality defects in the checklist indicates the severity of the defects. Moreover, it will help you and your inspector to determine the extremity of the product faults and review them with eyes wide open during the QC check. For example, you marked the wrong product color or material as the “major” defect. In this case, your inspector is bound to verify and ensure that the supplier sends the right colored product and satisfies the specified material quality.

5) Perform on-site testing and make the final decision

As the products are ready and your inspector has passed them according to your specifications, the time comes to make a final decision before the shipment. The quality control inspector will conduct on-site testing to ensure that the products are fault-free, safe, and functioning efficiently.

During on-site checking, you can try a different test to verify that the products are functioning effectively and their parts are not loose or damaged. You can directly address your inspector about the functioning and fitting tests or include their necessary performance steps in your checklist.

Before confirming the shipment and making payments, ensure that your product fulfills all the technical specifications.

Chapter 5. Which Things to Include in Your Quality Control Checklist

checklist

An importer company or individual must prepare a proper quality control checklist where they should mention their preferences and product specifications. The importers can convey their product requirements to the supplier through a QC checklist before placing the order.

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You can also take assistance from that QC catalog when performing quality control inspections. Yet, if you hire a quality control inspector, you can also provide him with this checklist. The inspector will inspect the product quality following the quality control checklist.

But a question arises here about what to include in the QC checklist or which things a quality control checklist should contain. Therefore, we have listed some essential things to include in your quality control checklist.

Following are some primary things that your checklist must include;

1) Product Requirements

Your checklist should contain all the essential product requirements, including:

  • The material type,
  • Product height,
  • Weight,
  • Color,
  • Performance strength, etc.

2) Packaging Material

Packaging-Material

The quality control inspection inventory or booklet should include the necessary packaging material that ensures your products’ safety during the shipment. The required packaging material may consist of the following:

  • Shipper dimensions,
  • Cardboard material,
  • Type of tape,
  • Binding material,
  • The strapping band, etc.

3) The Number of Sample Units to be Checked

If an inspection firm or an agent is performing quality control inspection on your behalf, then you must add the number of sample units that he should check during sampling.

4) Suitable Labeling

You should also mention the suitable brand labels for your products in the checklist. Also, include the type of labelslogo, and trademark you want to see on your products.

5) On-site Product Inspection

two inspectors testing products

Your quality control checklist should also have on-site and visual product inspection points. This way, your inspector will understand how much you are concerned about the product quality.

6) Defect Categorization

Write different defect categories in your quality control checklist and mention product descriptions against them. You can categorize the defects into three classes:

  • Minor
  • Major
  • critical

If product dimensions seem to be a minor defect to you, you can place it in the minor defect category, and so on.

7) Performance Test

When importing some technical devices or machinery, you should also mention the performance test in the checklist. You can add the guidelines to perform the functioning test for a specific product. The outline of the steps for doing such a test will help the inspector conduct a performance test and review whether the product is functioning efficiently.

8) Quality Test

Quality Test

Some pharmaceutical and chemical products need a quick quality test to ensure they are not expired and their quality and effect are perfect. Therefore, you must mention this point in the QC checklist to inform your inspector that he should send the product samples to the lab and determine their quality.

9) Carton durability test

The carton strength and durability test is another crucial thing to mention in the quality control catalog. This point will allow the inspector to check the durability of the carton and affirm that the products are safe to be shipped in these cartons.

Chapter 6. FAQs about Quality Control Inspection

 

1) What kinds of services are offered for quality inspection?

The primary purpose of quality inspection is to review whether the product is perfectly designed and meets the importers’ specifications. One can conduct various services to check the products’ validity and soundness.

The services include the pre-production check, during-production inspection, pre-shipment inspection, sample checking, metal detection, on-site verification, scan for visual defects,  and sorting review.

2) How can one pick a reputable quality inspection company in China?

You can choose a famous and reliable quality inspection company in China by visiting the company in person and reviewing their original business licenses. Moreover, you can also ask them about their customer feedback and testimonials.

You can easily judge the credibility and performance of the company through the quality and reliability of the services they perform. Furthermore, you can visit their official website and study their sourcing performance in China

3) When is the ideal moment to work with an inspection firm?

You should hire an inspection company when you receive low-quality products multiple times and cannot visit China in person to perform a QC inspection due to a hectic business schedule. Working with an inspection firm or a sourcing company in China is a perfect moment when you deal with new suppliers and import high-quality premium products.

You can negotiate pricing with an inspection firm or sourcing agent or work with them as a profit partner. The quality control inspection companies will ensure the product quality and take good care of them till they reach your address safe and sound.

4) What happens after quality control inspection?

You can approve the order and proceed further if the quality control inspection goes well and your inspector does not find any fault in the products. You can also confirm the order if the pointed-out defects are minor.

Though, if your inspector finds any quality issue in the products during quality control inspection, he will explain the product defects and quality issues to you. Upon receiving the quality complaint from your inspection agent, you will contact your supplier and ask him for reparations and compensation.

Conclusion

That being said, quality control inspection enables you to eliminate import risks, cut manufacturing costs, and decrease delivery times. Therefore, it is essential to hire the right person or sourcing company( you can trust EJET) when buying goods from China.

Have you tried Chinese quality control inspection services for your products before? If yes, please share your thoughts about the experience in the comments box below. We’d love to hear from you!

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