The House of High Quality Articles for Everyone in the World

Apr 4, 2011

Quality Control Checklist

Large companies outsource their manufacturing, to be enable the greatest savings in costs for that company and its customers. It brings a new set of challenges to businesses but long-term it may bring many benefits.

China is considered to be the world's new manufacturing heart, businesses that bring their production to China can be far more effective and cost competitive than those that remain in more expensive locations.

The benefits of outsourcing can be outweighed by the harm caused by poor choices in the outsourcing process, toys, baby clothes, toothpaste, seafood and many other products have been subject to mass recall and even destruction from low quality or even dangerous manufacturing methods employed by Chinese factories in the last few years.

In a recent report, the McKinsey group highlighted three areas that contribute to the failure of outsourcing - in particular, compulsive cheapness which is simply a drive to reduce costs no matter what the impact on the manufacturing process. The second area is Management failure and in particular the lack of involvement in the outsourcing process from management after the initial engagement with no localised quality work or inspection. Finally there is also, knowledge and control gaps - where no documentary support for either party in the process exists that ensures the quality of any finished item.

For many Western companies quality has been second nature for so long, that the process of creating the appropriate internal documentation is often assumed to be a standard part of the way manufacturing works. In China, quality management is a relatively new concept and many companies lack the resource and understanding to effectively implement documentation to support gaps in knowledge and control.

One of the best ways to overcome this issue is to work with a local quality company, one with experience in developing the best possible documentation.

Your documentation should be; bi-lingual (many companies forget this, if you supply QC documents in your language it is unlikely to be fully effective in China where second language capability is often limited to the sales team of a factory), clear (set out your requirements in absolutely unambiguous terms) and easy to use (effective implementation can only come about if everyone can use the documents to support the process).

Your chosen provider for this kind of support should have experience (at a minimum) of delivering these types of documentation for the Chinese market; Bill of Materials, Lab Testing Guides, Engineering Diagrams, User and Operations Manuals and Quality Control Checklists, etc.

Many large companies have failed this basic test in China, don't join them in a very expensive mistake - plug your knowledge and control gaps by working with a local partner, specialising in quality document development, to ensure seamless high-quality manufacturing every time.