Quality checks are conducted to obtain the highest possible quality product by monitoring at various production stages. When importing, the first step should always be to verify the potential business partner. You should make sure they have their factory, and if they do, where it is located. It would be best to be confident that the product will be of the best possible quality. To ensure the goods are manufactured according to your specifications, you should have an inspection conducted. What types of quality checks are done in China? When should such inspections be done?
Quality control process
A product’s quality is the effect of conscious actions on every stage of production, as well as before export, during packing, and preparation for transport, like loading. Unfortunately, unless you are on the spot, you cannot check the product by yourself. Due to this reason, consider hiring a company or quality inspector who will take care of it.
What are the types of quality checks in China?
There are four different types of quality checks, each on a different stage of production and transportation.
Factory audit/Pre-production inspection (PPI)
This type of quality control is done after verifying the company, which will be manufacturing the product. It allows to check the factory’s production conditions and reduces the chances of fraud. The goal of such audits is to find eventual problems before production starts. During this step, the quality of used materials, semi-finished products, as well as their availability are checked, including samples and machinery. Therefore, the factory’s whole preparation for the production is thoroughly checked. It will allow the importer to make the final decision whether they want to work with the supplier. After conducting the first quality check, manufacturing can begin.
During Production Check (DPI, DUPRO)
During Production Inspection is conducted when 10-60% of the product has already been manufactured, and its export preparations have started. The purpose is to find eventual defects and deviations at the beginning of the manufacturing process. The product is put under physical checks, which verify whether the randomly chosen items were manufactured according to AQL norms. Compliance with specifications and eventual delays are also thoroughly monitored.
Pre-shipment inspection (PSI)
This inspection is done at the end of the production process when 80-100% of the product has been manufactured. In that case, it is almost ready to be shipped. The check includes a physical inspection of randomly chosen items from all order batches under AQL standards. This step is the last opportunity to make eventual changes or corrective measures before finalizing the production process. It is worth conducting this check before paying the final installment for the goods.
It allows detecting all deviations and defects of manufactured products. Report from the pre-shipment check contains all descriptions and photos of any deficiencies. It also informs about the scale of the detected deviations.
Container Loading Supervision/During Loading Inspection (LS)
The loading supervision is the last step of the entire quality control process. It entails making sure the products were properly prepared for transport and that they will arrive at the destination in the desired conditions. Thus, the way the order is loaded and whether the type of transportation is suitable for the given goods are verified. Whether the container is securely loaded also matters. It has to be done to ensure the products will not get damaged and safely reach the destination.
This check is conducted in the factory after the pre-shipping one. Besides seeing how the product is packed and prepared for transportation, the required documentation also should be checked. The report entails details about the loading process. It also contains information about the materials that were used, as well as how many packages and how they are placed in the containers.
Quality checks in China – what should you pay attention to?
Remember that conducting quality checks in China during different production stages reduces the risk of eventual fraud (during the pre-production period) and minimalizes the risk of loss. Moreover, if you choose to have quality checks done, you will be regarded as a professional buyer. Due to safety reasons, we always recommend importers conducting an inspection and verifying the manufacturer.
You can conduct product quality checks by yourself. However, if visiting the factory is not possible, consider hiring specialists in China to do so. The cost depends on the factory’s location and the amount and type of product (for example, checking a machine will be more complicated than checking pillows.)
The quality check usually costs a couple of hundred euros. Still, it is worth spending on to ensure the ordered product’s quality is up to par before it arrives at the destination. It will be hard to negotiate with the Chinese supplier about returning or exchanging the product after it arrived and does not comply with your specifications.