As we know, the quality inspection is most widely used in the international trade. Normally, the quality inspection is conducted by the third party quality control angency or the buyer’s own inspectors.
What is a quality inspection?
The term “inspection” generally refers to the activity of checking products, whereas “audit” applies to analyzing manufacturing processes and organizations. The quality inspector usually follows a pre-established checklist that is based on the product specifications. Inspected products can be the components used for production, semi-finished goods, or (most often) finished goods before shipment to a customer.
The ISO 2859 standard (derived from MIL-STD 105 E) defines an inspection as an “activity such as measuring, examining, testing or gauging one or more characteristics of a product or service, and comparing the results with specified requirements in order to establish whether conformity is achieved for each characteristic”.
I wrote this article to provide guidance to importers who source finished goods from suppliers.
An important concept: why quality inspection earlier is generally better
As a preliminary, I want to emphasize an essential principle of quality management: “the sooner we eliminate errors, the better”.
There are only six ways to deal with defects. They can be either prevented or corrected, and they fall into three broad categories: development, production, and delivery.
The 1:10:100 ratio
Many studies across all industries have demonstrated that there is a cost and time ratio for development:production:delivery of 1:10:100. It means each error will cost 10 times more (in dollars and in time) to fix in production than it would to fix in development, and 100 times more if the error actually reaches the customer.
That’s why checking quality only at the end of production is very risky. But you don’t have to wait until everything is done… As you can see below.