The Importance of Factory Audits in China
The right manufacturer can make or break your part, and sourcing from China can be very difficult without the right team behind you.
Here is how we make sure that the factories we source from are qualified and right for our customers.
Check the Physical Location
This may seem a bit obvious, but when importing from overseas, it can be difficult to know who exactly you are dealing with. For example, one time we were in contact with a prospective factory that “seemed legitimate”. They had a website that had many of the right things we look for in a factory. Up to date equipment and processes, proper procedures, protocols and certifications.
We tried to visit them only to find out that the factory “address” was an apartment in the slums. Thankfully, we turned around and left quickly rather than find out who was inside the apartment. But this highlights the importance of doing due diligence when choosing a factory.
Using Up to Date Equipment
One of the things we check for is up to date equipment when we inspect a factory.
This helps ensure that the factory can make production orders in a timely manner while maintaining quality. It also can be an indicator that the factory has achieved a level of success to be able to afford the machinery and that they know what they are doing.
Quality Control and Practices
Good inspection procedures and following AQL practices is key to maintaining the quality standards for any production shipment. We make sure that the factories we source from follow proper procedures to help mitigate any potential issues.
The last thing anyone wants to hear is that a factory has discovered a major issue with an order right before it’s supposed to be shipped, so good quality control is crucial.
Sometimes special certifications are needed for different products. This can range from FDA certifications, to AS9100 certs for aircraft parts. We are able to source from a wide variety of factories with different certifications.
We want to make sure we source from factories we can be proud of. To that end, we’ll make sure that the factories we source from treat their employees well. This includes making sure they have proper work conditions, that they don’t have brutal work hours, and that they are paid fair ages. We wouldn’t even consider sourcing from anything close to a sweatshop.
Proven Track Record
Lastly we want to make sure that the factory has been around for some time. We don’t want to source from a factory that may close up shop the next day and leave our customers waiting while we have to scramble and find a new one. It makes it more seamless for everyone if the factory has lasted a few years and shows that they will likely be more dependable and reliable.
Want Some Help Finding a Qualified Manufacturer in China?
We have the experience to help you navigate qualifying factories and finding the right factory for your product. While picking the right factory in China is important for your product’s success, it also helps to have an agent that knows how to work with China. There are several differences between western and eastern business cultures. Using our established relationships and experience working in China greatly benefits our customers, even beyond just helping to qualify factories onsite.