Before You Begin

Before You Begin

Quality Inspection Service

Getting started with a quality inspection is simple, this guide will provide you with the necessary steps you can take to maximize your potential for a successful inspection. 

Select Your Inspection Type

A quality inspection allows a third-party to act in an unbiased manner to inspection your production at a given stage. When you sign up for the inspection, you are allowing Guided Imports and our inspectors to operate as a third-party by visiting your supplier and inspecting the production according to your requests and specification requirements. 

Before signing up for our service, it is necessary to identify which type of inspection you would like performed. We offer multiple types of inspections, where each type caters to a different need and requirement. 

The four types of inspections we offer are as follows:

  • Pre-Production Inspection (PPI)
  • During Production Check (DUPRO)
  • Container Loading Check (CLC)
  • Pre-shipment Inspection (PSI)

For more information on each type of inspection, and to learn about the most ideal times to use each one, we wrote a blog article highlighting each. You may find this article here, A Simple Guide to the 4 Types of Factory Inspections and When to Use Them

Communicate With Your Factory

Your supplier must agree to any inspection before it is conducted. Be sure to notify and ensure they have no objections to an inspection you would like performed onsite. Without getting your suppliers approval, there is no way an inspection date could be arranged. 

Identify What You Would Like Inspected

When an inspector visits your supplier, they need to know what they should be inspecting. This is why product specification sheets are incredibly helpful. Providing us with notes about the inspection, as well as specifications about the product will allow the inspector to know what to look for. 

If you haven't done so already, it is ideal to create a clear specification sheet.

Specification sheets don’t have a required template, rather, their intention is to list all the necessary requirements in an organized and easy to understand format for all parties to understand.

While the specification sheet is great for defining the specifications, it can also define the required quality.

Let’s face it – There is no universal definition of “good quality”.

“Good quality” is subjective from person to person. Your idea of “good quality” and your customers will be very different; this will also be true of your manufacturer. With this in mind, it is important to clarify your quality requirements in detail with product specifications.

As a rule of thumb, be as descriptive as you can and list your specifications, imagining your manufacturer as new to the industry. Be specific and include as much as you can to define your product. Picture your supplier as a newcomer to the industry.

You should include possible defects and make your quality parameters very clear — for example “scratch more than 3mm long on the surface of the product will be considered a major defect”. You can use your specification sheet as an inspection checklist later on, once production has finished. I also highly recommend you get your specification sheet translated to Chinese to receive the best results.

The following are a list of tips for writing your specification sheet:

  • What is the application for your product?
  • What is the product material?
  • What are the dimensions? (Ex: thickness, length, width, height)
  • Are there any other needs? (Ex: color, wood type, durability, water-resistant etc.)
  • Compliance standards based on region sold to (ISO, FDA, CE, etc.)
  • Machining requirements? (Rough, soft, flexible)
  • Every industry will have jargon, terminology, and abbreviations. Define as much as you can (a definition section is recommended).
  • Wording should be short and direct.
  • What is the destination your product being shipped to?
  • Dimensions and weight requirements should include tolerance levels.
  • Color specifications should be referred under Pantone code.
  • Product performance should be included (for example, extreme temperatures and humidity)
  • When specific tests are required, standards used to measure precise measurements should be included (Materials, Conditions…)

Plan Ahead

Specification sheets are great, but they are not helpful unless agreed upon by your supplier. While we do suggest that you provide us with your product specifications, it is important to understand that suppliers need to be aware of what is being inspected before an order is every placed. 

View our Getting Started with Inspections here.

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