Whenever you’re sourcing products in China, it’s always a good idea to have quality control measures in place. These will ensure that your products are as strong and durable as they need to be, so that customers continue to buy them and recommend them to their friends and family members. However, it can often be difficult to save money on quality control when working with Chinese suppliers. Here are five tips for reducing costs on quality control in China.
1) Use 3rd-Party Inspection Services
Third-party inspection services will typically charge a fee for their services but will also help streamline communication between your factory and yourself. They’ll also help prevent any language barriers from interfering with communication. A third-party inspector will typically visit your production facility once per month during production runs, which means you’ll still need to conduct regular inspections via Skype or other methods yourself throughout each month. But by using third-party inspectors regularly throughout production cycles, you can ensure that problems don’t go unnoticed until after goods have been shipped off to customers. When it comes to quality control in China, a little bit of extra effort now could save you thousands of dollars later on.
2) Build Relationships With Suppliers
Your China manufacturing operation is only as good as your supplier relationships. That’s a fact. When suppliers deliver on time, meet quality requirements and are flexible when you need them to be, then you can feel confident in putting your product in front of consumers. But if a supplier flubs an order (or multiple orders), doesn’t pay attention to details or otherwise cuts corners that affects quality, it will be reflected in customer perception of your brand—and eventually sales results. Unfortunately, there’s no simple solution here because every situation is different, but there are ways to help minimize risk of problems with suppliers and still find high-quality products at a price point that makes sense for your business. Having a solid relationship with your China manufacturer will help ensure all goes well from start to finish so as to save for quality control later.
3) Find Suppliers You Can Talk To
As we just mentioned, it’s crucial to build a good relationship with your suppliers. If you have a supplier that will work closely with you, you will have peace of mind knowing that your products are being built as per your specifications and on time. This can save you thousands of dollars in unnecessary costs on quality control inspection and rework if your supplier is lax about following instructions. Since many China manufacturers don’t speak English well, try to find someone who can understand what you need or use an agency or translator who specializes in working with Chinese manufacturers. Also make sure to check references before doing business with any new supplier.
4) Get Critical Feedback While Your Product Is Being Manufactured
One of the biggest mistakes entrepreneurs make when manufacturing a product is assuming that everyone is as invested in its success as they are. But often you’ll be working with multiple vendors, each responsible for a different component of your finished product. Without directly collaborating with all vendors, it can be hard to spot inconsistencies—like inferior fabric or mismatched parts—until too late in production. The easiest way to catch these and other problems early on is by getting critical feedback from suppliers and manufacturers while your product is being made. While it’s impossible to ensure perfection, taking advantage of communication can help limit any mishaps during production so they don’t cost you time or money later down the line.
5) Get Involved in the Production Process
When you’re manufacturing overseas, quality control is a crucial issue. If there are quality issues with your product or manufacturing process, that means you will lose time, money and a lot of reputation. The best way to overcome quality problems is to get involved in QC yourself. A first step would be to try testing out parts of your production process at each stage before you send it off for mass production. This will make sure that whatever defects happen are caught early on and can be corrected as early as possible, with minimal cost and effort. With current travel restrictions, most likely you won’t be physically there in China. Make sure to find one that can livestream the whole process or any trusted 3rd-party inspection services to test it out for you.
Overall, quality control is one of those things that may seem small in terms of overall costs and time, but it can make a significant difference to your bottom line in both ways. It’s never too early or too late to start improving your QC. Shield Works has over 17 years of QC experience with our own professional team, contact us if you are in need of QC service in China!