Quality control in China: better safe than sorry

Quality control in China: better safe than sorry

Quality means doing the right thing when no one is watching.” This famous quote by Henry Ford is, or should be very significant for any company. Quality management is part of the organizational culture of a company, and this affects both its services including commercial attention, logistics, after-sales, etc. as well as its products.

However, when companies sell material goods purchased from a supplier, they sometimes make the (serious) mistake of leaving all responsibility for the quality of the product in the hands of the manufacturer. This can be very expensive, for the marketing company in many ways as it is the one dealing directly with the end customer and therefore putting its reputation on the line.

This fact is also common when brands decide to buy their products in China without a proper sourcing strategy. In fact, and sadly, some companies assume it’s normal that importing products from a distant country can be associated with a number of quality errors. This misconception arises from the lack of information on  how to successfully import Chinese products.

Once again, we would remind you, that talking about products made in China in the 21st century  is  talking about quality products as long as, and as happens in any purchase, the right supplier is chosen. If goods purchased in China do not meet expectations, for the majority of the time, it is due to a lack of experience in importing that has triggered some of the usual problems when making international purchases in the Asian giant. This could certainly have been avoided by relying on the services of a specialized purchasing agent or consultant.

Inspection of goods.

What is not monitored is not controlled, and what is not controlled cannot be improved. This seems like one of those typical inspirational quotes from social networks, but is, in fact, pure common sense.

Carrying out inspections of goods at their origin with the manufacturer, is a fundamental step if we want the product to reach us with quality guarantees. Quality control inspections make it possible to detect manufacturing defects, functional deficiencies of design requirements, or even errors in production quantity in advance.

In this sense, carrying out quality controls allows the client company to anticipate any potential production problems, which will undoubtedly save costs in customer returns, new supplier orders, trips to the factory to solve problems etc. and many other headaches.

Types of goods inspections in China.

Mandatory inspections.

Inspections required by the manufacturing country. The quantity and quality of the manufactured products is controlled by them including price verification carried out to allow a tariff classification for any manufactured product destined for export.

The purpose of these inspections is to carry out a control to enable the issue of mandatory certificates in China, such as the well-known China Compulsory Certification (known as CCC, by its initials in English).

The CCC, similar to the CE certification of the European system, is the requirement demanded of certain products manufactured in China for their use, commercialization, sale, import or distribution. It entered into force on May 1, 2002 and is mandatory for 137 types of products organized into 21 categories (mainly vehicle components, electronic products, and information technology products). It is illegal to market these products without the required certification.

Internal or voluntary inspections.

Voluntary inspections are key in any import process. Although the client company is not always aware of it, the success or failure of the purchase often depends on these types of controls. It should be noted that, although mandatory inspections enforce certain standards, the authorities that carry them out know nothing about the specific details of an import. The client company must insist on its own inspections to avoid missing out details, exactly for this reason.

Hay que tener en cuenta que, aunque las inspecciones obligatorias hacen cumplir ciertos estándares, las autoridades que las realizan no saben nada sobre los detalles específicos de nuestra importación. Precisamente por eso es la empresa cliente la que debe exigir inspecciones propias para no perder detalle.

The sole purpose of this type of inspection is to check that the supplier is manufacturing the ordered product as we want to buy it, and to ensure that the goods are being produced in accordance with the specifications of the purchase contract. They are also the right initiative to ensure that the products meet the quality standards of the final destination country and can be marketed without problems.

Let a sourcing partner control the quality for you!

From the language barrier or cultural differences, to travel, lack of knowledge about legislation or necessary documentation, there are many factors that can trigger a problem when a company has little experience in international purchasing in China.

The import process is long and consists of several phases during which it is essential to control the quality in order to avoid risks and surprises when receiving the merchandise. A sourcing partner will help you to supervise and overcome all the steps, establishing quality controls that ensure the success of the import.

At S3Group we have worked as sourcing partners specialized in products manufactured in Asia for more than 15 years. Our job is to ensure that importing is a simple, efficient and reliable process for any company, without having to worry about the quality of their product. We already care about this.