As an importer, your number one risk is to pay for a production, choose not to audit the factory, wait for the goods, and realize that they can’t be sold — once they are in your country!

You will probably not be able to send defective products back to China for repair, or to ask for a re-production at the supplier’s cost.

The solution is twofold:
Factory audits: make sure the suppliers you find are capable and reliable.
Quality checks: verify the quality of your products when they are still in the factory.

1. Factory audits: ensuring that you work with the right supplier

Chinese Exporters are pretty good at telling you what you want to hear. If you are required to send a down payment (which will never be given back), shouldn’t you try to know where your products are going to be made?
Depending on your budget and your needs, we offer several types of audits:

1.1 Technical & Quality Audit (TQA) — for an in-depth evaluation of the manufacturer’s capability and reliability. It is the “standard” type of audit. Read More

1.2 Social Compliance Audit (SCA) — for an in-depth evaluation of social compliance issues. Can be based on our standard checklist, on Walmart standards, etc. Read More

1.3 Initial Factory Evaluation (IFE) — relevant for small factories (below 300-400 workers). And for buyers with a small budget. Read More

2. Quality checks: keeping an eye on the quality of your production

Remember, you are paying for your products, and you should be able to send a representative in the factory to watch production. This is very standard. If your supplier objects to it, it it highly suspicious.

There are basically three types of quality control services.

2.1 Final Random Inspection (FRI) — Confirm the average quality of a product batch, a few days before the goods are shipped out. The audit is based on a statistically valid sample. It is the most common type of inspection. Read More

2.2 During Production Inspection (DPI) — Catch issues as early as possible and point them to the manufacturer. And take samples at random for laboratory tests, in case you need to comply with strict regulatory standards. Read More

2.3 Packing & Loading Supervision (PLS) — Record the quantity and check the packing method. And supervise the loading method. Read More