Our company does export business for a short time. Recently, a batch of mechanical parts will be exported. So the customer informs us that their engineers will come over for inspection and ask us to do some preparations. What preparations should we make? How should we get along with customers when they do the quality inspection?
Many foreign trade orders involve quality inspections. Sometimes customers arrange engineers, occasionally staffs in China’s subsidiaries to check, and sometimes the third party inspection agency to inspect. And the inspection also divides into several categories. The first is the inspection before the start of cooperation. The customer checks the supplier’s materials before production to ensure that the materials meet the requirements. The second is the inspection of the product production process in production. For example, after the sample comes out, before the formal mass production, or after the mold production is finished, customers inspect the mold. They want to control the quality of the finished product by the control of the quality of the mold. Third, there is also the inspection before the shipment.
Preparation for inspection
No matter what kind of inspection it is, business personnel should prepare for the inspection as soon as possible.
Firstly, you should be familiar with all the technical materials related to the contract, especially drawings, product quality requirements, inspection standards, specifications, etc. And you should communicate with the relevant people to find out if the items to be inspected are ready. Then, you inform the customer of the status of the product to be inspected. So they can arrange a specific inspection time and confirm the inspection requirements. Also, you should confirm the customer’s requirements with the people in charge of quality or inspection in your company to see if all of them can be achieved. You’d better pre-check all your products before the customer comes. If there is a problem, you can correct it. Do not delay the preparation until the customer arrives, which makes it impossible to check, or many aspects are not qualified.
Before the customer visits, you should sort out all the results of your pre-test. After inspectors come to the factory, you can first hold a simple meeting to confirm the items, inspection standards, inspection tools, inspection methods. Then you should arrange for the relevant personnel to cooperate with the inspection, and pay attention to the safety protection when checking.
When checking, if there is a problem, you should cooperate and solve and communicate in time. As the supplier, you’d better also prepare an inspection record or copy the customer inspection record. After the inspection, it is recommended to hold some small meetings to summarize the results of the inspection and see what needs to be improved. If all are qualified, it would be simple. However, if there are unqualified products, both sides need to communicate how to deal with them.
Besides, some inspectors are the final user of the product. They have a great influence on which supplier to choose, so you should respect their opinions. As users, their understanding of the product may not be the same as that of the manufacturer. So you need to fully understand their requirements for product function so that the product can be improved later.
Sometimes the customer will arrange third-party inspections, such as inspection or acceptance reports from international inspection companies like BV, SGS. You should maintain good communication and coordination with these inspectors and provide them with some convenience. Don’t think there’s no problem with the quality of your products that you can attach no importance to these inspectors.
The staff of a famous testing agency goes to inspect the factory on behalf of the customer. Probably the customer has told the supplier that the factory inspection is just a procedure. Therefore, the factory feels that there is no need to pay much attention to these inspectors. The factory is remote, and the traffic is not convenient. The inspectors want the factory to pick them up but is rejected by the factory. As a result, the inspectors go through a lot of trouble to find the factory, but the factory complains that they are late. According to the process of factory inspection, there is no problem. But one inspector may not satisfy with their treat, so he notes that the factory may be suspected of using child labor. Some employees in the factory, such as the labeling, do not reach the legal working age indeed.
The note is not a necessary item for the report, but the customer has to pay attention to it after adding this. Some Western companies are sensitive to this issue. Finally, the customer stops the cooperation with this supplier and purchase from others. This incident gives a heavy hit to this supplier, losing 80% of his orders. If the factory can properly communicate with inspectors and provide some convenience, it may not happen. Therefore, try to get well along with others and learn to cooperate.
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