Conducting factory audits is both expensive and time-consuming. And importers conscious of their QC budget often wonder what's the best way to get their money's worth out of audits. You know that with the proper balance, factory quality control inspections can help you proactively get a first overview of a factory's set up, performances, and it's principal points of compliance with international standards.
When leveraged correctly, supplier audits can identify, address, and avoid problems in a supplier's product quality, premises, organization, practices or processes before the problems spread. And while there is no one-size-fits-all approach to conducting factory audits, there are some common instances and triggers when an organization should audit its suppliers.
1. Your History With the Supplier
Obviously, you know that if you have a good history with your supplier, you'll need factory audits less frequently. Things to consider are how long you've been using this supplier, the results of previous factory audits, and whether your supplier has an adequate quality management system. The answers to these questions should tell you how frequently they need audited.
2. A Supplier Is New or Changes Quality
Any time you have an unknown is an excellent time to conduct a factory audit. If you have a new supplier, your suppliers have changed ownership, or you have seen some variance in the quality of their work are all tips that it might be time to audit their factory.
3. Random Audits Are Not a Bad Idea
Sometimes your gut tells you something isn't right, or sometimes it's just been a while since someone has audited your supplier. Although audits can be out of your usual daily operations with your supplier, it's always a good idea to listen to your inner voice. It will give you peace of mind and ensure everything is going smoothly with your supplier.
4. New Regulations Or Requirements In Place
Product quality starts with selecting the right supplier. The aim of an audit is to assess if the factory has the relevant product knowledge and is able to manufacture products that comply with international regulations and your own brand requirements.
5. How Complicated Is Your Product?
The more complex a product is, the more things that can go wrong. If you produce a product with many moving parts, you might need to conduct factory audits more frequently to ensure everything is in order.
Factory Audits as Part of Comprehensive Quality Control Programs with AQF
We offer a user-friendly quality control program that assists businesses to save money and safeguard their brand's reputation. We can give you the advice and tools you need to manage quality control so you can avoid buying defective items, minimize your risk, and sell your products faster. Download your free sample report today and learn how we can help improve product quality from your suppliers.