When carrying out a China factory audit your potential supplier will be more than willing to show you their ISO 9001 certificate, but a better option to gauge their attitude to quality may be to take a look at their testing facilities.
Many factories in China – especially in state promoted industries – have well equipped and modern testing facilities, containing test equipment which companies are mandated to purchase.
If you are visiting a company for the first time, it is easy to be blinded by this expensive array of equipment. However, of more pressing concern are the following issues:
Often Chinese factories will try to impress you with their equipment, but it is important to pose them with a few tricky questions in order to get the most from your China factory audit.
One good method is to request that testing on a sample is demonstrated. It is usually quite obvious if they have a clear test method in place or are making it up as they go.
To ensure their products are as good as they claim to be, all factories should have suitable means to check their production.
Usually this doesn’t require state of the art equipment; it requires appropriate testing to be carried out at regular intervals in a methodical manner, using calibrated machines to set procedures.
Checking the test laboratory might not be applicable in all factories as some products don’t really require such rigorous testing, so you can also take a look at the list we have prepared of 10 key objectives for your China factory audit.
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Conducting China market research can be very challenging for foreign companies, due to the shortage of reliable information available in the English language.
From researching many topics for our articles, we have however found some websites which we go back to time and again, and decided it would be a good idea to share these with our readers.
Although many factory's have their own laboratories, few of these are independently certified so requesting testing by external testing body is a wise move in many circumstances.
These testing bodies should be accredited and you can make sure of this by requesting a copy of their China laboratory accreditation certificate.