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Quality control notes are the parameters provided by an importer and contain a list of items to explicitly define a defect or issue for a quality inspection. These notes are important for a quality control inspector to check during an inspection. Therefore, it becomes extremely important as an importer that you have clearly defined your defects and issues in the QC notes. But most of the people are not aware of what should be included in these notes. So let’s go through the different aspects of QC notes one by one: –

Defect Categories

There are a wide variety of variables to define a defect and all circumstances differ based on the product and the buyer. Hence, it becomes extremely vital that you correctly identify what you believe would be considered ‘okay’ and ‘not okay.’ This can be done based on defect categories as given below –
Minor: May not be a problem for most users. The product most likely won’t be returned.
Major: Not acceptable for most users in most cases. End-user may likely return the product.
Critical: Could even injure the user or cause death in some instances.

Types of defects

There could be hundreds of defects based on circumstances, manufacturer, product or the buyer preferences. Thus, it is really hard to define any specific types of defects. The best place to understand the defects in your products (or products you plan to sell) is to look for bad reviews in the similar products online. The bad reviews are most probably due to defects, and thus help you to narrow down on the checks that you need to consider for your products. Some examples of common defects are –

  • Low-quality logos printed
  • Logos printed incorrectly or not in the right location
  • Sewn seams misaligned or not stitched properly
  • Product color shade is not accurate
  • Product shape warping
  • Flash from injection molding not properly removed

Inspection criteria

The inspection goes down through certain well-defined criteria for testing and thus can be used to understand what parameters need to be defined in each of these criteria that could be helpful during the inspection.
Some of the common ones are given below:

  1. Materials and components
    1. Basically to check if the raw materials used in production are of high quality
    2. To check if the ratio of different raw materials is used in correct ratios.
    3. Any certifications with the manufacturer
  2. Assembly and Workmanship
    1. To check the quality of assembly, if needed.
    2. Any obvious signs of a poor craftsmanship/workmanship
  3. Colors and Finishing
    1. Check the Pantone color number (industry standard) provided by the importer
    2. If the finish is not as per the customer expectation
  4. Weights and Dimensions
    1. No two products are the same, but the tolerance level for the difference has to be defined and agreed on.
    2. Dimensions are an issue if the fabric or any textile product is manufactured
  5. Labeling, logo, tags, and stickers
    1. Very very very important part of the checking, as this criterion is often wrongly implemented or ignored.
    2. The importer needs to make sure that the exact location of the logos; labels etc are clearly explained to the manufacturer with pictures.
  6. Packaging
    1. Packaging is the very important aspect as it protects goods during shipment and influence consumer perception of the goods.
    2. Also, the online retailers such as Amazon have clear directions for different labels for the box, cartons as well as Pallets.
    3. Need to make sure that the right labels go at the right package, or else the wrong product might be delivered to the customer.
  7. Product Testing
    1. It is the buyer’s responsibility to identify and ask the factory what tests will be conducted during inspection
    2. Depending on the product the importer needs to come up with the right kind of tests that need to be conducted on the products.

Thus, QC notes can be as descriptive, and as short as per the product and requirements of the importer. But, you need to make sure that the supplier is aware of these notes even before the production starts. This helps them to prepare and deliver goods as per your expectations. Any inspector would love to have descriptive notes, but the more descriptive they become the more time consuming they are. Hence, you need to perfectly balance the description in QC notes to achieve the desired outcomes based on your product and your expectations. The other alternative is to team up with the right partners who can help you with quality control. Our company has been working with several partners and helping them to achieve quality products across the spectrum as per the requirements. We have a dedicated team of experienced Quality inspectors who are aware of the detailed requirements of our partners and help them to achieve their visions.

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