For over 100 years, in the small town of South Pittsburg, Tennessee, Lodge has been manufacturing the finest cast iron cookware in the world. Still family owned and operated, Lodge continues to produce the most extensive selection of quality cast iron goods on the market, all made right in the USA. That’s why in the early 2000s when Lodge began to augment its product line with enamel coated cast iron products manufactured overseas, the quality of these products and the reliability of their manufacturing partners were of utmost concern.
With relatively little experience buying direct from overseas factories, Lodge experienced a range of difficulties with their initial imported product, from containers full of defective goods arriving in their US warehouses, to inexplicably late shipments and vendor disputes. These problems threatened to permanently tarnish the first class reputation for quality and service Lodge had established over the past 110 years.
In 2007, Lodge Manufacturing chose to hire InTouch as its exclusive quality consultant in Asia in an attempt to stabilize and improve its importing program. The InTouch team moved to immediately conduct audits of Lodge’s current suppliers in China, and evaluate each one’s value to the supply chain. We worked with Lodge and their factories to set up key quality control documents as guidelines for inspecting product, set up QC inspection schedules and protocols, investigated recurring quality issues with on-site production monitoring, and initiated safety and performance testing that set Lodge imported product apart from the competition.
In just the first 6 months of working with Lodge InTouch were able to fully stabilize their importing program, and have completely eliminated the production and quality issues that troubled their operations. Because of our initiatives and fair and reasonable fees, Lodge can attest to the fact that InTouch has already saved them over one million dollars by preventing product quality issues and lost business due to late shipments. Our services to them now include not only all of our core services, but all of our support services, and also assistance in investigating counterfeit product being produced under their brand name.
“As a family owned and operated company with over 111 years of history behind our brand (and family) name in the USA, quality and customer satisfaction with our products is our number one concern for each piece of cookware we manufacture each year. It’s for this reason, that in 2004, when Lodge began to augment our mainly domestically manufactured product line with a new range of products manufactured in China, we had concerns about the China-based factories ability to produce product consistently to our specification, and ship to us on schedule. After just two years of buying from overseas we realized that our fears were not unfounded.
Our company received several containers of substandard goods, had some quality disputes with our Asia-based factories, and had some difficulty communicating our expectations for product safety and quality. All of this not only put our century old brand name at risk, but also required our company to charge our vendors back for return shipping costs, defective product, and labor re-work in the US. With these factors at work, stocks of some items ran low, which left us scrambling to restore our reputation with several of our major retail accounts.
Everything changed in late 2007 when we began working with Mr. Andrew Reich and his team at InTouch Services. InTouch immediately began working hand-in-hand with both our factories in China and our staff in the US developing detailed QC checklists for each item, arranging product inspections throughout Asia, ensuring production was being completed according to our specifications, and ensuring our product met FDA and CPSC safety standards through lab testing.
As a result of our partnership with InTouch, we no longer experience the delivery of defective product in the US, late shipments from our suppliers, or the numerous other problems that had troubled our overseas manufacturing. This company continues to prove itself invaluable to Lodge with its constant attention to quality issues in the housewares industry, and recently with its help in investigating the manufacturing of counterfeit Lodge product in China.
We highly recommend InTouch to any person or company in need of these services and are confident that working with this firm will resolve quality issues with your imports and save you money.”