Everyone wants to cut costs and maximize profits, especially recently, in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. To some, hiring an inspection company may not seem like a necessary expense at the moment. However, neglecting QC can lead to preventable defects or variations in your production quality, which can then snowball into much more serious issues, including customer complaints, returns, and possibly even safety concerns.
If you sell on Amazon or other similar platforms, your listing may be suspended if your product refund rate is over 10%, and your stock will have to be removed from the warehouse, checked and purged of faulty products, then restocked in the warehouse. All of these issues will cost you money, draining your profit, and hindering your company’s ability to recover after epidemic controls are lifted. By comparison, the cost of inspection to ensure your quality standards are met is miniscule, and can save you substantial costs and headaches in the long-term. Let’s break down three of the biggest reasons for using a 3rd party QC company.
1. During production, there are always defects
No matter how good the factory is, there is always a risk of defects. Machines can break, parts come loose, and people make mistakes. Even if production mistakes can be avoided, there is also a risk of miscommunication between you and the producer regarding your product specifications, such as component material, color, function, heat and moisture tolerances, etc. If certain aspects of quality are not specified, they may make an assumption that you may or may not be willing to accept. A small defect rate is unavoidable, but it can be mitigated.
The key is to minimize the defects prior to shipping. If your order is produced, packaged, and shipped to you without inspection, you won’t know if or how many defects are present until either you inspect the items yourself, or your customer finds it and complains. If there are too many defects, you’ll have to sort and pull out the faulty products, complain to your supplier, order more to replace lost stock, and waste a lot of time, energy, and resources fixing the problem. Much of this can be avoided with a pre-shipment inspection, and your supplier could have dealt with the defects before shipping it halfway around the world to you.
2. Suppliers may cut corners
Your supplier sent you a beautiful sample that meets your requirements, so you place an order. Two months later, you receive your shipment only to find that, while it looks nearly identical, the actual final product is not of the same quality as the sample. A QC company can check the factory in question to ensure they can deliver what is promised, and inspect the final product to see if they followed through.
As Benjamin Franklin famously said, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” This was readily apparent to me recently when I observed an inspection for cardstock packaging for high-end glassware produced in Guangzhou, China. I accompanied one of our experienced inspectors to do a pre-shipment inspection with a long list of customer requirements.
The overall quality of the packaging was quite good. Thick, heavy cardstock to protect the glass, brochures printed inside a sleeve denoting the elegance of the product, and precision-cut foam inserts to cradle the product. The factory was obviously capable of delivering a high-quality product, but in the end, the product failed the inspection. Why? A simple mistake in the printing resulted in every package having an incorrect label. The company name was formatted incorrectly, and the size of the product was listed differently from actual. To their credit, the factory acknowledged their mistake without equivocation. The report was sent to the customer to decide whether to accept the packaging as-is, or request a reprint of the labels.
As the labels were included in the packaging design and all done in the same factory, it would have been better to have caught the mistake earlier in production, but the result was still better than having the customer receive the incorrectly labeled packages and face logistical difficulties in rectifying the situation. This was the customer’s first order from this particular factory, and indeed, we strongly recommend during-production inspection for situations such as this to avoid costly but avoidable mistakes if you don’t have prior experience with your supplier.
3. Visiting factories yourself can be costly
The benefit of visiting the factory yourself, of course, is that you’ll see exactly what you’re getting. The downside is that this can be very time consuming and potentially expensive, depending on how much you want to supervise.
If you choose to personally attend all of these stages of production, it could cost you several weeks or over a month, as well as thousands of dollars in airfare, hotel, transportation, food, and so on. The factory may help you with some of these things, but it’s not a guarantee. Alternatively, you can delegate any or all of these tasks to a professional inspection company for a fraction of the cost, and sleep better without worry, while you keep your business rolling at home. For tips on how to choose an inspection company, check out How to Choose a Good Inspection Company in China.
So, how many unnecessary costs did you count up in your own business operations while reading? If the answer makes your head hurt, we can help. V-Trust Inspection Service racked up an average of over 6,200 man-days a month in 2019 for more than 3,200 buyers around the world. We operate in China, India, Vietnam, Malaysia, Bangladesh, and Thailand, providing factory auditing, social auditing, product inspection, and testing services.
As an independent third-party inspection service, we endeavor to maximize transparency and reliability by using only full-time professional inspectors and offering guarantees on our services. If you’re in need of professional quality inspections and you’d like more information or a sample inspection report, don’t hesitate to contact us. Visit us at www.v-trust.com, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We’re available 7 days a week, ready to help buyers sleep better.