When you’re considering outsourcing your manufacturing to China, you may want to consider having an 3rd-party quality control (QC) agency check and test your products before they are shipped out of the country. But product quality Chinese suppliers provide can really vary sometimes. In order to combat this, manufacturers hire 3rd-party quality control services to inspect their product before they are shipped. But can we really trust them?
The importance of quality control in Chinese manufacturing
Generally speaking, quality control is essential for any manufacturing process, but it is especially important in China. If a company is not careful with its QA practices and starts producing poor-quality products, then the costs will skyrocket and profitability will fall dramatically.
For example, if a company produces one thousand defective units of product per day to be sold at $6 a piece and the cost to produce each unit was $2 then the total profit would be $4 per day ($4k per year). However, if 10% of the units are defective then the total profit would drop to $0 ($0k per year) because even though there are 1000 units produced they cannot all be sold at full price because some are defective. In other words, the more defects you have on your products, the lower your revenue will be.
That’s why it’s so important to have a good quality control system in place before production begins so that you don’t have these problems down the line. You are there for less headache but more cost-efficacy, not the other way around. Quality control is also important because consumers want assurance that the products they buy will work as advertised.
Doubt about Chinese 3rd-party quality control service providers
The quality of products made in China used to be questioned a lot. Companies often experienced difficulties with ensuring product quality and it was difficult for them to have peace of mind when they started manufacturing their products in China. It was not until the emergence of third-party inspection services that companies had some relief from this problem, but many companies still have doubts about whether or not these service providers are really independent.
It is because Chinese 3rd-party quality control service providers do not always act independently, and instead may act as agents for certain suppliers who are more powerful than others. Their goal is not only to improve product quality, but also the reputation of those suppliers who pay them well.
Can I trust them now?
The past can’t be denied. But thankfully, with the boom of advanced manufacturing in China and higher standard of quality required, 3rd-party quality control service there has become much more truly “independent”. They are equipped with a variety of professional skills for inspection and testing.
The most important thing is that these service providers are not dependent on individual factories but rather they offer their services to multiple factories as well as other buyers or clients.
You will also find that they often use various inspection methods to analyze products, including high-tech equipment such as X-ray machines, which are typically only available at highly specialized labs in the United States. All this means it’s easier than ever before for foreign buyers to purchase goods from reputable suppliers who employ such a service provider.
As for their job scope, these professionals will conduct inspections on all aspects of the product: shape and form, weight, color and appearance, size, packaging labels etc. If anything looks off (whether it’s an incorrect measurement), then your order might get rejected.
Moreover, because each factory may specialize in different types of items (such as electronics or food), hiring a QC service provider provides some assurance that any factory producing your product type is running according to modern standards. As long as you have faith in your own evaluation process and checklists from home office or another reputable company within your industry while visiting potential suppliers in person too—you’ll have nothing to worry about!
So yes, you can trust the 3rd-party QC providers now, just as how big names like Apple and Panasonic do!
How to choose an appropriate QC provider
It can be difficult to determine whether or not a 3rd-party quality control (QC) service provider in China is trustworthy. Here are a few tips to help you choose a reputable QC provider:
1. Do your research. Make sure to read online reviews and check out the company’s website about who they currently work with or have ever worked with, before making a decision.
2. Consider your needs. What type of products do you need to have inspected? What is your budget? Once you know what you’re looking for, you can start narrowing down your options.
3. Get in touch with the QC provider. Ask questions about their services and see if they would be a good fit for your business.
4. Request quotes from multiple providers and compare. The cost of a 3rd-party QC service is generally going to vary depending on your needs. For example, a full inspection for new products may cost more than a spot check for recently-produced goods. Some companies will even have an annual or semi-annual discount package that you can opt into. Once you have quotes from different providers, compare their prices and see if there are any special deals being offered by one company that you can take advantage of.
With the current travel restrictions, since they can’t be physically there to inspect, 3rd-party QC service in China has gradually become a popular option for many businesses with outsourced manufacturing there, which many of them have later found a pleasant surprise.
Shield Works is one with 17 years in this area as well as its own professional QC team and partnerships with certified labs. Contact us if you’d like to know more about our QC service!