If you’re an Amazon seller sourcing private label products from China, it is not a matter of IF but WHEN you will have quality issues.
In manufacturing, “good quality” is defined as conformance to requirements.
Chinese suppliers deal with customers from different countries around the world, and different buyers have their own quality standards. Not only do quality standards vary, but safety regulations, and testing and certification requirements also vary by country. Manufacturers cannot be expected to know the regulations for each country.
It is therefore the importer’s responsibility to clearly define their requirements and product specifications.
Quality Control or QC is a set of procedures intended to ensure that a manufactured product adheres to a defined set of quality criteria or meets the requirements of the client or customer.
Reasons for quality issues
Miscommunication is the No. 1 reason for most quality issues.
Do not believe that your supplier understands your specifications and your expectations clearly after they’ve been told once.
For one, you are most likely communicating with someone who doesn’t speak English as their first language.
Second, you’re most likely talking to the salesperson, who in turn has to communicate requirements to the production manager. And it’s not uncommon for things to get lost in translation or for requirements to not be clearly communicated to the assembly line.
- Unclear instructions from the buyer
Many eCommerce sellers assume suppliers will know their requirements. They are not particular about their specifications.
For e.g., if they’re ordering a yellow T-shirt, they might not specify the exact shade of yellow they want.
Similarly, the buyer might not have indicated the specific type of finishing they want on a product, or where and how the labels should be attached and in such a situation, the supplier is likely to use the option that costs them the least.
It is also possible that the sales representative is not familiar with the product, and might not understand the technical details or requirements.
- Cultural differences
It is common for suppliers to tell buyers what they think you want to hear, even if it’s not the truth just so that they can make a sale.
Also, suppliers may be hesitant to ask questions and admit they don’t understand requirements as “saving face” is an important element in their culture and they do not want to seem incompetent.
- Buyers pushing for lower price
When eCommerce sellers pressure suppliers on price, they may try to cut corners, which could impact product quality.
For e.g. the supplier might reduce the thickness of the metal on a spatula, which might impact performance. Or for products made of wood, they might not treat the wood properly which could result in the wood warping over time.
Sometimes even when there is no price pressure from buyers, suppliers might cut corners to increase their profitability.
- Skipping product inspections
Spending a couple of hundred dollars on an inspection can save importers a lot of trouble later on because once the shipment arrives in the importing country, and if there are major issues with the product, there’s not much you can do at that point to rectify the issue.
Learn how to conduct quality control
If you want to ensure you get consistent quality from your China supplier, come attend the Quality Control Workshop at Global Sources Summit in Hong Kong.
To be held from 27-29 October, 2018 Global Sources Summit is a conference for online and Amazon sellers sourcing private label products from China.
The QC Workshop will be held on 26 October, and will be conducted be QC expert Habib Rkha.
The Summit is co-located with Global Sources Lifestyle and Fashion products sourcing trade fairs so you can also meet thousands of China suppliers at the same time.
How will you benefit from attending the workshop?
The QC workshop for Amazon sellers is an intense 3-hour session where you can learn directly from experts who are immersed in the sourcing industry.
The best of us sometimes struggle to remember the finer details of a talk. At the QC workshop, our experts will show you how it’s done with hands-on interactive activities.
You will learn:
1) Why quality starts at inception:
- Risks of not qualifying your supplier before placing an order
• Defining your product specifications right
• Qualifying your prototypes
2) Understand how to create inspection checklists:
• Checkpoints you must not miss
• Define your acceptance criteria
• Case study: Plush toy for US and Europe market
3) All about product inspections:
• How to perform your product inspections onsite efficiently
• Pre-inspection preparation with your supplier
• Full check or random check
• How to choose the right sampling plan
• Exemplary inspection step by step
• How to deal with a 3PQC
Grab Early Bird price before 15 Sep and save US$100
Meet Habib, your workshop conductor
Habib Rkha has over 10 years of experience in QC with Chinese suppliers and buyers from around the world.
He is the founder of QCADVISOR, a QC agency providing solutions for retail, distribution and eCommerce entrepreneurs in China, with a constant focus on delivering the best product to the end user.
Habib is a certified auditor and he has been taking part in Global Sources fairs in Hong Kong since 2012 as a speaker on QC.
Grab Early Bird price before 15 Sep and save US$100