Almost every company in the world sources their products or parts for their products from China. Why? The lower costs, higher profit margins, and efficiencies gained by following the economic theory of comparative advantage are just a few reasons.
However, when deciding to source from China, it is crucial to install rigorous product inspections. This quality control step is vital to ensure you satisfy customers and gain their loyalty.
At Jonble, we understand the significance of each one of your products. It is not just an item to be boxed and shipped. It is the culmination of many years of hard work in developing, testing, and fabrication. Our experts will work with your team to create an inspection checklist that will guarantee high-quality control.
With about 5 to 10 percent of purchases made in-stores and 15 to 40 percent of purchases made online returned, we understand that this adds up to millions and billions of dollars in loss.
This blog will outline the steps to develop a high-quality inspection checklist to reduce the likelihood of products being returned for malfunction or other reasons.
Create A WT Analysis Of Your Product
The traditional Strength, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats (SWOT) analysis is an integral part of your business planning, and it is equally essential in developing an inspection checklist.
Inspection checklists should be developed with two purposes. It should check the quality of the item at the point in time within the supply chain. You want to consider both timing and product quality because this separates the process into stages to help identify weak areas that could be strengthened individually.
Examine your supply chain and identify areas of weaknesses and threats. Is it sourcing raw materials or parts? Is it while assembling your product? Is it the final product before it is shipped? Is it the product after it is shipped?
At every stage you identify, we can develop an inspection checklist to ensure quality control.
Consider your product and the potential weaknesses and threats that should be examined during a quality inspection check? Is the material not suitable? Is the color not the correct shade? Can the product survive the long journey to your customer’s home?
The inspection checklist will outline the quality and standards you expect of your product and ensure the customer’s expectation is also met.
How To Get Started With Your Checklist
When creating your inspection checklist, you should understand it is the guiding principles you will be providing for your quality inspection service provider to ensure factory and manufacturing standards are meeting your expectations.
You cannot be everywhere. To alleviate your concerns and allow you to focus on your business strategy, think of the checklist as the blueprint that allows inspectors to be your right hand in the manufacturing and factory sites.
Depending upon your item, your inspection checklist may vary in length. Start by identifying the different ways your product should be tested based on its areas of weaknesses. Once you’ve listed out these areas, there are a few ways you can organize the list.
Typically, the inspection checklist names the type of check that is occurring, provide a description of how to conduct the check, and an area for measuring if the check was successful or not.
How To Organize Your Checklist
No one product is alike, and, therefore, no inspection checklist is the same. However, we’ve outlined below common types of inspection to include in your checklist.
- Visual Inspection – This type of inspection requires the inspector to look for visual anomalies. If your product is large, it could be walking around the product. It could be examining the color quality, looking for missing parts, if there are scratches, dents, or other marks.
- Physical Inspection – This type of inspection goes hand in hand with the visual inspection. It is important to check that the product matches the physical requirements such as dimensions and weight.
- Functional Testing – This type of inspection is vital to ensure your product does what it is supposed to do when it gets to your customer. The inspector should use the product and manipulate it to see if it holds up to stress.
- Barcode Verification – This type of inspection checks the barcode data matches with what is in your system and is easy to scan and verify.
- Drop Tests – This type of inspection helps to check that the product won’t break after a day or two of arriving at the customer’s or during the shipping process. The inspector should drop the product in the box and check if there is any damage to the box or the product.
- Special Tests – Every product will be different. A special inspection test is one that you develop based on your specific product. For example, if your product requires assembling parts together, then you should have the inspector also assemble the product to check it fits together well. How long does it take to assemble it? Does it match with any marketing language used on the packaging?
These are the most common types of inspection checks that you’ll want to organize first on your checklist. Since your product may require additional types of inspection to meet regulatory or customer satisfaction, don’t let this list limit you.
Questions Your Checklist Should Answer
Once you’ve developed your inspection checklist, review it to ensure it meets your needs. When are checking it, consider if your inspection checklist answers these questions:
- Will the check test if my product looks like it should?
- Will the check test if my product does what it should?
- Will the check test if my product can survive the shipping process?
- Will the check test if my product matches the specifications I market to my customers?
- Will the check ensure the product my customers receive is the product they wanted?
- Does the checklist include detailed instructions on how to conduct each inspection test?
- Does the checklist provide all the information an inspector will need in order to complete the checks?
Yes, even creating a checklist for your inspection checklist can be a good idea.
By using these questions during your review, you may find there is additional information you need to provide the inspectors with. This enables them to understand your product and know how to conduct different tests. Every product is unique, so the more detailed information you can provide, the more likely the inspections will be the standard you are looking for. They will be able to provide the quality assurance you need to have a successful business.
Inspectors are not experts in your products. The inspection checklist you provide them will be their guide to understanding you, your company, your product, and what your product should look like and do.
Also, consider reviewing your inspection checklist regularly and updating it. Based on customers’ feedback or your employees’ feedback, make sure your inspection checklist takes into consideration recent complaints and concerns. It is recommended updating your inspection checklist should be done at least once a year and every time there is a significant change to your product. For example, if your product starts sourcing a new part from a different factory than you normally would use.
Importance of Inspection Checklists
Inspection checklists are an important tool for business owners sourcing products and parts from around the world. Every country and industry has different standards. The inspection checklist can help ensure at every stage your product will meet your customers’ needs. It is part of the quality control system you want to have in place.
The inspection checklist should provide guidelines for your inspection service providers to understand your product and know how to check the different aspects of it.
When developing your checklist, think about the different weaknesses of your product. Every inspection should check for those weaknesses, such as any miscoloring, dents, or scratches, and the functionality of the product.
Some of the checks will help ensure every product that reaches your customers is what they want. Other checks may be to ensure the product meets regulatory standards. This is why inspection checklists are an important part of quality control in any supply chain management.