How do you monitor your inspectors work?

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.

Do you accept financial liability for your service?

Yes. Under the terms of our certification, we are legally bound to accept a certain amount of liability for substandard work on our part that results in loss. The exact terms can be found in your service agreement. Please contact us for any specific questions regarding liability.

Why do you keep reporting the same quality issues over and over?

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.

Can you help me resolve quality control issues with my supplier?

In a word, YES. There are myriad issues that may affect quality and delivery time of your product. HQTS provides Production Management and QC consulting services to augment our standard quality control services. If your supplier is cooperative with your efforts at improving quality in their facilities and processes, HQTS consulting staff can help identify and advise on issues in their total quality management and production process.

Can you provide a Key Performance Indicator report?

A Key Performance Indicator (KPI) is a type of performance measurement that tracks and evaluates the output of manufacturers in various ways, including quality, delivery, satisfaction and others depending on customer requirements. HQTS does not provide this as a standard service to our clients. However, we may do so on a case by case basis. If this is a business requirement, we welcome you to contact us. We can discuss how we currently provide this to some key customers, and whether our approach fits your requirements.

How can I trust HQTS to be ethical?

HQTS has published a Code of Ethics (hereinafter “the Code”) that provides clear direction to employees in all areas of their daily business activities. All employees, managers and executives are responsible for assuring that compliance remains a vital component of our business process. We ensure that the principles embodied in the Code are implemented throughout our internal Quality System processes, procedures, and audits. Supported by rich knowledge and experience in the field, and benefiting from over 500 staff members, HQTS is dedicated to helping our customers meet all their Quality, Safety and Ethical Standards to support their supply chain in the global marketplace. If you wish to obtain a copy of our Code of Ethics, please contact us.

How do you control bribery issues?

We have a dedicated compliance department that handles matters related to ethics and bribery.  This group has developed and implemented an anti-bribery control system modeled on the system used by USA financial institutions under banking regulations. 

This robust ethics program includes the following features to assist in mitigating instances of bribery:

  • Inspectors are full-time employees paid at above market rates
  • We have a zero tolerance anti-bribery policy
  • Initial and continuing ethics education
  • Regular analysis of inspector AQL data
  • Incentives for reporting violations
  • Unannounced inspection audits
  • Unannounced inspector audits
  • Periodic rotation of inspectors
  • Fully transparent investigations

If you wish to obtain a copy of our ethics policy, please contact us today.

How can my products meet regulatory requirements for hazardous chemicals?

The simplest way is to engage a 3rd party testing company, such as HQTS. Some manufacturers self-test and/or rely on local testing labs for certifying their products. However, there is no guarantee these labs, or their equipment, are reliable. Nor is there any guarantee the results are accurate. In either case, the importer may be held responsible for the product. In view of the risk, most companies opt to use a 3rd party testing lab. HQTS’ 80,00 sf laboratory is centrally located in Hangzhou China, and does a broad range of consumer goods for all regulatory testing requirements.

How can California Prop 65 affect my business?

Prop 65 is the 1986 voter-approved Safe Drinking Water & Toxic Enforcement Act that includes a list of Chemicals known to the State of California to cause cancer and/or reproductive toxicity. If a product contains a listed chemical, then the product must contain a “clear and reasonable” warning label informing consumers of the presence of the chemical and stating the chemical is known to cause cancer, birth defects, or other reproductive harm.

Although companies with fewer than 10 employees are exempt, if they sell a violative product to a retailer with more than 10 employees, the retailer could receive a notice of violation. In these circumstances, retailers usually rely on clauses within their contacts with importers that require the importer take responsibility for the violation.

A plaintiff may seek injunctive relief requiring a company caught selling a violative product to suspend sales, conduct a recall, or reformulate the product. Plaintiffs can also obtain penalties of up to $2,500 per violation per day. A more general California statute allows most successful plaintiffs to recover their attorneys’ fees as well.

Many are now choosing to rely on 3rd party testing companies to verify that hazardous substances are not being used in their products.

Is package testing necessary for all products?

Package testing is mandated by regulations for some products such as; food, pharmaceuticals, medical devices, dangerous goods, etc. This may cover both the design qualification, periodic retesting, and control of the packaging processes. For unregulated products, testing may be required by a contract or governing specification. However, for most consumer goods, package testing is often a business decision involving risk management for factors such as:

• cost of packaging
• cost of package testing
• value of package contents
• value of good will in your market
• product liability exposure
• other potential costs of inadequate packaging

HQTS staff would be happy to assess your specific product and packaging requirements to help you determine whether package testing can improve your quality deliverables.