In a perfect world, where a factory manages its quality, and every worker takes ownership of the outcome, there would be no need for quality control. However, this is not a perfect world. Even countries with a reputation for excellence in manufacturing, quality control is a must; because people are not perfect. When considering the sub-standard controls and rule of law issues in developing countries, quality is much more tenuous. Thus, it is incumbent on every importer to view inspections as a necessary part of their supply chain planning.
Consider the six most essential reasons quality control inspections should be part of your supply chain planning.
When sourcing products in Asia, certain well-known risks must be factored into your supply chain planning. For example, the ubiquitous red envelope, short cuts on production, sub-standard materials substitution, outsourcing to sub- standard factories, quality samples not matching production samples, and defective merchandise. Quality control inspections help you
Outsourcing QC in Asia saves money. Many chafe at the idea of paying for quality control inspections. However, it has been found to save considerably in long-term resources. Any who have experienced product recalls, scrapping or reworking products, accepting returns, and losing business, have come to see inspections as a more cost-effective alternative. The costs, emotionally, physically, and monetarily incurred can be much higher due to these issues, than paying for inspections.
Time is an important resource in every business. Time lost equals money and opportunity lost. Many of the issues mentioned in the preceding section result in a significant amount of time dedicated to a resolution. Besides, travel to and from Asia to work with suppliers to resolve issues is very time-consuming. Quality control inspections allow you to outsource some of that resource load at a reasonable cost.
Having inspectors in your factory allows you greater control over your supplier. Factory owners are significantly more conscientious when aware inspections could take place at any time. This reduces the incidence of lower quality, fraudulent or defective work. More control over the entire production process is a crucial benefit, along with the opportunity to intervene whenever necessary – and early enough to avoid losing time and money when issues arise.
In some cases, when a supplier exceeds the acceptable defect level, a buyer will negotiate the terms of resolution. Sometimes it is a rework and piece by piece inspections, other times it may be a reduced price for the shipment. Whatever the case may be, having a comprehensive view into the quality situation of the products before shipment — through quality control inspections — will give you greater leverage in resolving the matter before additional costs are incurred.
An old saying states, “trust is hard to earn and easy to lose”. Providing good quality products helps to increase customer satisfaction, loyalty, and trust. Satisfied customers are not only repeat customers but also evangelizers for your brand. To maintain this requires your products meet, or exceed, customers’ expectations. There have been many cases of business ruined by failing to remember this. Quality is key to maintaining and enhancing your products and brand value.