Vetting Factories for Quality

This year we are taking our Maker’s Row Academy  from on-line to in-person with our monthly course series. This month we hosted “Quality Control” which provided insight on managing quality, from the types of factories you work with to your finished product. Our sourcing and product development expert, Liz, shared knowledge on quality control.

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Liz has been producing products for over 12 years and now works with businesses 1-1 to help them source the right factories. You can book a 1-1 session with her here.

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There were a lot of helpful tips on how to integrate quality management.  Here are some questions to ask factories before production in order to safeguard the quality of your product:

1. Ask for client list

This is a list of clients that the factory has worked with.  When you get the list, look up the products online.  Notice the quality of the product and if the quality is in line with the pricing.

2. Ask for references and directly address quality

References are clients that agree to speak about their experience with the factory.  When you contact these brands, be sure to address quality. Ask “Have you had any problem with quality of your product?” and “How did they come to a resolution?” Keep in mind, there is no perfect supplier. It’s about how they fix problems.

3. Ask for a phone call or in-person meeting.

It’s important to ask quality themed topics in person because the questions can easily avoided on email.  When you speak with factory as “When was the last time you had a quality problem?”  instead of “Have you ever had a quality control problem?” Consider it a red flag if supplier says “No, we have never had an issue of quality ever” or blames the client or brand for problems in quality.

Related Reading:  Most Popular Industries on Maker's Row

4. Do you have an employee for quality management?

This is a great question to evaluate if the factory has an internal system for managing quality. If they do not have a designated employee with this task, then follow up with “Am I welcome to visit factory and oversee the process?”

5. Under what circumstances would I be entitled for refund?

Despite all your research and questions, problems may occur.  If they do, then you and the factory should be in agreement about the best way to resolve the issue at hand.  It’s important to ask these types of questions via email so that you have them for your records. Asking “What’s your policy for resolving issues?” will make aware if there are company policies for issuing a credit, refund, discount, etc for addressing problems.

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Learn More About Quality Control

Preregister for our upcoming Academy course.  Here’s what you’ll learn:

  • *How to ensure the suppliers you choose can produce high-quality products
  • *Why it’s important to develop your product with quality control in mind
  •  *How to create a professional Quality Control program
  • *Best practices for recouping costs when things go wrong

Want to see more?

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