Getting You Product Inspections Right First Time (2of 2)

Andy Church is back on Product Inspections

Product Inspections report

  • Allocation time for inspection on 2,000 units
  • When is the inspection going to be done and impact on shipping on time
  • Last thing a buyer wants is an inspection delaying shipping

Plan time in for Product Inspections

  • Understanding the timeline at the beginning
  • You can then hold the factory to the date for inspection
  • Product Inspections are a 2 day window
  • If a problem is found then make sure the factory has time to put things right before they need to be shipped
  • Ideally 3-5 days before they need to be at the Port for shipping
  • Regardless of the order size it’s still a day at least and turnaround time on the report
  • Add in a week to Factory timelines as they are often aggressive and slips happen
  • Allow for delays by the factory

AQL Tables – 100% inspections

  • Not always effective
  • Inspector is fatigued
  • 300 sample size is the number of pieces an inspector can inspect in a given day
  • An order size bigger than this is a challenge for 100%
  • Inspector fatigue impacts the quality of the inspection as the high volume of units inspected through the day gets lower as time goes
  • Decision fatigue also has a part to play in this (Steve Jobs wearing the same outfit each day to preserve his decisions quota)
  • Acceptance Quality Limit = AQL (worst level of quality your able to tolerate)
  • An AQL chart is out there and it’s quite simple once you understand
  • What level fo defects you willing to accept
  • Then the order quantity
  • Then sample size
  • And the number of defects can be observed and still pass
  • Accept and Reject criteria is on the chart for you to decide what’s acceptable

Product Inspections Levels Setting

  • Three levels of defects
    • Critical
      • Always a Zero (One defect at this level then reject)
      • Anything that would cause injury to or safety hazard to the user
      • Electrical: shock
      • Sharp toys
      • Needle in plush teddy bear
    • Major and Minor
      • 2.5 defects (5%)
      • 18 inches from eyes and arms length
      • Affect usability or saleability
      • Carton is crushed
      • Missing components
      • Put it together and can’t use it
      • Would be returned
    • Minor
      • 4.0 defects
      • Not affect usability or saleability
      • But not as specified
      • Scratches, etc
      • Unlikely to be returned
  • You may want to lower the defect numbers on these levels depending on your risk, standards and costs
  • Upto you to decide with you and the Factory before you place the order to set the AQL levels

Define at Order time

  • AQLs should be established and included in your order to he factory
  • The factory should be able to follow these in their own internal quality processes

An Inspection Fails

  • Agree up front what happens if the inspection fails
  • You may decide to pay the re-inspection costs
  • Most times the factory is responsible for the re-inspection costs
  • The factory needs to know they have responsibility
  • Factories agree to these up-front to avoid upset
  • Use as a bargaining tool
  • If an inspection fails for minor defects – buyers will still purchase but it’s got minor scratches
  • If the minor defect level was exceeded – you might ship it but agree a discount to take it as is and meet your ship date
  • Some agree to replace any returns on the next shipment – so all returns are compensated

Inspection Provider

  • Should be willing to have a conversation with you about the process
  • What you need to consider from a defect point
  • The buyer and factory should be an expert in their product but…
  • Working with the Factory and Inspections service should cover what’s needed in defect terms and levels and agree what the inspection criteria should be
  • For Danny – this inspection step is simply a corner you can’t cut! The cost to you of a failed products that you have to pull out of hte Warehouse

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