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Sourcing from China? 8 Quality Control Questions You Need to Ask

Sourcing products from China can be risky, especially when you’re ordering from overseas suppliers you haven’t worked with before. To ensure you don’t get stuck with unreliable, low-quality manufacturers or suppliers, ask yourself these eight questions to help you assess the risk of your order before making it, and while it’s in transit and at its destination. When you’re done, make sure to check out a few of our top tips for managing your supplier relationships!

1) What is your goal?

Before you even begin working with a factory in China, it’s important to know what your goal is. Do you want an ultra-cheap product that will be sold at a loss? Or do you need something high quality that can compete on price with products made in more expensive countries (like America)? These are two very different things—and knowing what you want right up front is key.

2) Are you a reliable buyer and seller?

Before you get too deep into production with any one factory, ask yourself how good of a buyer and seller you are. Reliability is perhaps one of your most important attributes as a business partner – if they can’t count on you to pay on time or fulfill orders correctly, it can create disaster for both parties down the road. If you find yourself struggling with tardiness in payment or product fulfillment, take action now before it spirals out of control.

3) Do you understand my needs?

The best quality control inspection companies in China will work with you to understand your needs, and then perform a physical inspection and detailed audit of your products prior to any orders being placed. The inspector will also observe all operations at your factory for an entire day, giving you and them a thorough view of what you do right—and what could be improved upon. All companies that source manufacturing services overseas should expect their supplier partners to take quality control standards just as seriously as they do.

4) Can you meet deadlines, quantity, quality requirements?

Asking these questions at first will protect you and your company from quality failures, and ultimately save you a lot of money. Choosing one inspection company in China (preferably one that’s been around for 10+ years) is key to ensuring quality control.

5) Do you have competitive prices, samples available for review, return policy and warranty information in writing that matches what you tell me verbally?

Before you sign any contracts, make sure your terms are not contradicted by what’s written in them. This will help ensure you can rely on what was discussed verbally and that there won’t be any misunderstandings or surprises further down the line. It’s also important to ensure a company has competitive prices, samples available for review, return policy and warranty information in writing that matches what you tell me verbally.

6) How many suppliers do you have working on this project at the same time to assure it gets done as soon as possible without errors?

There’s nothing worse than ordering a part and finding out it’s defective. We don’t want that happening. Make sure you have enough suppliers on your project at all times to guarantee quality control. This is especially important when dealing with overseas manufacturers, as communication is more difficult and there are language barriers, which can lead to mistakes. To avoid problems,  Quality control china can test each part of your product individually, before it leaves your supplier’s facility.

7) Do I have someone I can reach 24/7 in case of an emergency during the production process?

One of your biggest concerns as a buyer should be how you’ll manage quality control issues that might arise during production. That’s why it’s critical to have an available (and knowledgeable) contact you can reach 24/7 in case something goes wrong. A company with full-time staff will be able to respond quickly and get you moving toward a solution.

8) How will we track our shipments throughout the production process so nothing gets lost or damaged in transit.

Once you place an order with a factory in China, chances are that it will take some time to process, and then there’s shipping involved. While you may be eager to start producing, it’s crucial that you establish quality control measures. If something does go wrong along the way—and it often does—you need to know right away so you can address issues or send products back for rework.

wrapping up

It’s important not to get hung up on price. Remember, you get what you pay for. Trustworthy suppliers will be transparent about their product and quality control standards. If they are not, or if they can’t answer your questions in a way that leaves you feeling confident about your purchase, it’s probably time to look elsewhere. 

In today’s global economy, companies based in other countries provide quality products at great prices every day of the week—you just have to know where to look and how to ask for them!

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