HQTS has a dynamic inspector and auditor training and audit program. This includes periodic retraining and testing, unannounced visits to factories where quality control inspections, or factory audits, are being conducted, random interviews with suppliers, and random audits of inspector reports as well as periodic efficiency audits. Our inspectors program has resulted in developing staff of inspectors that are among the best in the industry, and our competitors frequently try to recruit them away.
It is important to understand the role of a QC provider. Inspection companies only evaluate and report on findings. We do not decide if the production lot is acceptable, nor do we help the manufacturer resolve issues, unless that service has been arranged. An inspector’s sole responsibility is to ensure that proper procedures are followed for the relevant AQL inspections and them report findings. If a supplier takes no remedial actions based on those findings, the sale problems will occur repeatedly. HQTS provides QC consulting and production management services that can help a supplier resolve production issues. Please contact us for more details.
It may be possible to get an initial quality control inspection report the same day. However, the verified report is not available until the next business day. It is not always possible to upload the report into our system from the supplier location, so the inspector may have to wait until he returns to the local or home office to do so. In addition, while the vast majority of our inspectors throughout Asia have good English skills, we want a final review by a supervisor with excellent language skills. This also allows for a final review for accuracy and internal audit purposes.
Typically, each inspector will work 8 hours per day, not counting meal breaks. How much time he spends at the factory depends on how many inspectors are working there, and whether the paperwork is completed at the factory, or at the office. As an employer, we are bound by China labor law, so there is a limit to the amount of time our staff can work each day without incurring additional charges. Many times, we have more than one inspector onsite, so typically the report will be completed while at the factory. At other times, the report will be completed later in the local, or home office. It is important to remember however, it is not only the inspector who is dealing with your inspection. Every report is reviewed and cleared by a supervisor, and processed by your coordinator. So many hands are involved in a single inspection and report. However, we put forth our best effort at maximizing efficiency in your behalf. We have proved time and again that our pricing and man hour quotes are very competitive.
Your coordinator is in constant communication with your supplier and our inspection team regarding your inspection schedule. So, in most cases, we will know in advance if the date needs to be changed. In some cases however, the supplier will not communicate in a timely manner. In this case, unless otherwise directed in advance by you, we cancel the inspection. A partial inspection fee will be assessed and you have the right to recoup that cost from your supplier.
There are many factors that can affect the timely completion of a quality control inspection order. Most common among these is production not being completed. HQTS requires production to be 100% complete and at least 80% packaged or shipping before we will complete the inspection. If this is not adhered to, the integrity of the inspection is compromised.
Other factors may include severe weather conditions, uncooperative factory staff, unexpected transportation issues, incorrect addresses supplied by the customer and/or factory. Failure of the factory or supplier to communicate a delay in production to HQTS. All these issues lead to frustration and delay. However, HQTS Customer Service staff works hard to communicate directly with the factory or supplier on all matters regarding the inspections date, locations, delays, etc., to minimize these issues.
AQL is the acronym for Acceptable Quality Limit (or Level). This represents a statistical measurement of the maximum number and range of defects that is considered acceptable during a random sampling inspection of your goods. If the AQL is not achieved for a particular sampling of goods, you may accept shipment of the goods ‘as is’, demand a rework of the goods, renegotiate with you supplier, refuse the shipment, or choose another recourse based on your supplier agreement.
Defects found during a standard random inspection are sometimes classified into three levels: critical, major and minor. Critical defects are those that render the product unsafe or hazardous for the end user or that contravene mandatory regulations. Major defects can result in the product’s failure, reducing its marketability, usability or salability. Lastly, minor defects do not affect the product’s marketability or usability, but represent workmanship defects that make the product fall short of defined quality standards. Different companies maintain different interpretations of each defect type. Our staff can work with you to determine the AQL standard that meets your requirements according to the level of risk you are willing to assume. This becomes the primary reference during a pre-shipment inspection.
It is important to note; the AQL inspection is only a report on the findings at the time of the inspection. HQTS, like all 3rd party QC companies, does not have the authority to make a decision as to whether your goods can be shipped. That is a decision only you can make in consultation with your supplier after reviewing the inspection report.
The type of quality control inspection you need largely depends on the quality goals you are trying to achieve, the relative importance of quality as it relates to your market, and whether there are any current production issues that need to be resolved.
We invite you to explore all the inspection types we provide by clicking here.
Or, you can contact us, and our staff can work with you to determine your exact requirements, and propose a custom solution to best meet your needs.