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Surprising Ways a Supplier Can Cheat Your Inspector

8 / 17 / 2018


Let us share you a story that recently happened to one of our inspectors with a supplier trying to cheat us and our customer.

This specific story happened in Vietnam few weeks ago. But frankly speaking similar stories also happened in every other country where V-Trust already operates no matter it’s in Vietnam, China, Cambodia, India or Bangladesh.

In a word, supplier tried to hide the actual quantity; in that case not even 50% of the production was finished. The way the factory tried to trick the inspector is actually more interesting than the trickery itself (factory sometimes claims that production is finished while our inspector discovers it’s not the case after arriving on site).

All good with quantities confirmed before inspection!

Before any inspection the dedicated V-Trust account manager is always in contact with the supplier not only to double confirm the inspection location but also to follow up the production, quantities, equipment available on-site, answer to any of their questions, etc. In this case, supplier double confirmed inspection day and quantities available on the day of inspection (100%) with our account manager.

The day before, as always, our inspector also contacted this factory to introduce himself, inform them of his arrival time and let them know if there is anything to be aware of. Again, supplier confirmed that production was finished and ready for tomorrow inspection.

So what could go wrong with the production status, after getting 2 confirmations both by the account manager and the inspectors?

Well, written or oral confirmation by supplier does not mean much. Only real inspection on-site can help us (and our customer) to know about the real situation and this time, the supplier tried everything for us not to discover it!

Everything going wrong with a surprising trickery when actually being on site

When arriving, one of the first steps of any inspection performed by V-Trust is to check actual quantities and compare with information shared by customer.

Factory showed the warehouse and inspector started counting. What an easy job? Just need to count the number of cartons per line, multiply by the number of columns and finally multiply by the number of product per cartons. Well, not exactly and not only this.

V-Trust inspector also needs to open some cartons (to verify if the quantity of products per carton is correct), touch cartons (to feel if they are not empty), randomly check if all cartons are of the same type and at last but not least (especially in this case), check if the stacking place is actually filled with cartons, with no “empty space” in the middle.

This is exactly what happened in our case, when moving away cartons our inspector discovered a massive empty space in the middle, after 4 rows of carton. A place big enough to move inside and even filled with some cartons from other customers.

It appeared that only 45% of the production was finished. Factory had no other choice than to admit. When roughly counting cartons by multiplying lines and columns, of course everything appeared in order with 100%of quantities produced. An on-site inspection with a well-trained inspector may be the only way to detect such trickery.

Be careful, you are warned!

Such situation does not only happen in Vietnam. Similar situations with more or less sophisticated tricks happened on a regular basis in every country we operate besides Vietnam (China, Cambodia, India and Bangladesh). V-Trust inspectors know about these possible tricks and are trained about new innovative trick factories could think of.

At the end of the day, customer required a re-inspection of the goods to take place few days later (paid by the factory this time). If factory had been more honest about the production we could have probably re-scheduled the inspection, factory would have avoided the fees of a re-inspection and our customer would have more trust in his supplier.

Empty space in the middle, as discovered by V-Trust inspector.


V-Trust team
Vietnam Country Manager
MBA in Grenoble Business School (TOP 6 French Business School)
5 year experience in Quality Control industry
Multiple languages speaking (French, English, Spanish, Mandarin)


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