Usually visits at subcontractors' sites are denied by suppliers. There are many reasons behind that, that were explained in a previous article. This situation should be avoided as much as possible or the buyer should take into account the possibility of risks and the direct consequences that may result. What are the reasons why goods should be inspected at the subcontractor's site?
Reasons why goods should be inspected at the subcontractor's site
inspection result reliability reduced
The supplier and the subcontractor have different production processes therefore the quality of the goods manufactured on the subcontractor side and supplier side won't be the same. An inspection should be performed on an homogeneous lot otherwise the inspection result is meaningless.
To be efficient, inspections should be performed where the goods have been manufactured. One inspection order per factory should be booked to ensure the most reliable result.
Damage during transportation
Usually the goods are transported bulked in cartons from the subcontractor to the supplier factory therefore the goods are not well protected and may suffer damages. In case of defective goods, they should be shipped back to the subcontractor and shipped back again to the supplier after being reworked therefore the risks of damages during transportation increase drastically.
Supplier loosing face
The supplier may loose face in front of the subcontractor to explain that the work has not been done according to the client requirements and that the goods should be reworked. However, the goods have left the factory of the subcontractor, he may refuse to rework them; it all depends on the agreement with the main supplier, their business relationship and the payment agreement, etc.
Also, the supplier looses face in front of the buyer, if he hided the fact he was working with a subcontractor. The buyer should carefully deal with this situation: protecting the relationship is the priority to ensure corrective actions are put in place properly.
Impact on the inspection reliability when subcontractor's involved in an order
The quality inspector can perform a reliable inspection at the supplier factory as well as the subcontractor's as far the they cooperate. However, to limit risks above mentioned, the buyer would rather try to perform inspections on the respective production sites.
And you: do you have any other reasons why goods should be inspected at the subcontractor?