Do You Have a Quality Control Program?
Any experienced importer will tell you, the most common problem buying from China is the quality of the products. When buying from Chinese factories, product quality is by no means a certainty.
Put simply, you need to take quality control into your own hands. If you don’t take specific actions to protect yourself – you are gambling with your money.
All goods exported by EASY IMEX will go through a Quality Control (QC) inspection before they are exported. We have different levels of quality control depending on our member’s requirements and the products involved. You can read about our QC services here.
Why Quality Control is So Vital
For many reasons, Chinese manufactures can ‘screw up’ orders. The reasons might astound you:
- Maybe it’s the first time they actually made this product. Why not? They advertised it and you gave them an order!
- Or perhaps they have someone else's rejected stock lying around and they want to palm this off to you. Something more common than many imagine.
- We’ve even seen factories make a product and they didn’t know what it was used for. Sounds silly right? We actually know of a soap factory which made bottles of hand soap, yet none of the pump tops worked! No one in the factory thought it mattered because you could just unscrew the top to get the soap out.
- Quite often factories will purposely manipulate the product quality in order to save material costs and improve their own margin. That is, they substitute cheaper materials, or put in small quantities of materials to save them money – at YOUR expense. Factories are very motivated to cheapen their product quality over time.
This is why dealing with manufacturers in a developing country can cause no end of problems. And for all these reasons and so many more quality control is an absolutely essential part of the process if you’re importing from China.
At EASY IMEX we offer verification and quality control solutions to suit your needs. Our range of Quality Control Inspectors are in all the major provinces in China. They can be on any factory floor within 24 hours. This way, if there are any problems we can find out early and fix them before your goods are shipped!
In this photo, several members of the Easy Imex team are inspecting a tent factory in Jiangsu province - on behalf of an Easy Imex member. We hadn’t used this particular factory before so it was important to do an on the ground inspection. This took about 4 hours as we assembled the 20 x 10m marquee from the ground up and inspected the workmanship of the goods. The factory owner is also pictured here as Morin runs through the quality control checklist.
There are a few important rules to consider when buying from China:
- Never trust a factory’s “in house” quality control.
- While it may seem counter-productive for factories to cut corners to save a little money when it costs so much more to fix the problems – if they think they can get away with it, they will certainly try. The factory must be aware you will audit them regularly and will follow up with any problems. They must know you have some presence there to check up on them.
- Once you approve a sample as being acceptable quality, you need to hold the factory accountable to this production quality.
- The more face time you or your representatives spend in the factory – the better quality you’ll end up with.
- Do not ever ship before you approve it! It doesn’t matter how “good” your relationship with the factory is. It doesn’t matter if you’ve shipped the same thing before. It doesn’t matter how big your order is or how many other future orders rely on this shipment. If you’ve got product in your home country (and you’ve already paid for it) it’s too late to be finding out about problems now.
Quality control is not a one time event. It's an ongoing process which starts the moment you choose a supplier. Quality control is not there to fix problems, but to alert you to potential problems. The earlier you find the problems the quicker you can take corrective action. If you find problems with your goods after they have left China - it's too late.
What are Easy Imex’s Quality Control Services?
All goods exported by EASY IMEX will go through a basic Quality Control inspection before they are exported. We have different levels of quality control depending on our member’s requirements and the products involved. Easy Imex offers several levels of service.
For orders over $30,000 USD Easy Imex will carry out “Level 1” Quality Control FREE of charge.
For orders less than $30,000 USD, there’s a surcharge of $250 USD per day spent inspecting a factory.
For orders over $50,000 we carry out “Level 2” Quality Control FREE of charge.
Easy Imex Level 1 – Free for orders over $30,000
Level 1 – We send a qualified inspector to your factory for the entire day. They will perform a thorough examination which will result in a comprehensive report (please contact us for a sample report).
Here’s how things generally work. You pay an initial 30% deposit and the manufacturer will produce your goods. Once the goods are completed EASY IMEX will send a qualified inspector to the factory to assess the goods. Once they pass inspection you will pay the supplier the remaining 70%. If there are any problems they will be fixed before the rest of your payment is made.
What Does It Cost: This is FREE for orders over $30,000. Otherwise it costs $250 USD per man day.
Easy Imex Level 2 - Free for orders over $50,000
Level 2 – You will have an inspection early in the production run, then a second pre-shipment inspection after production. This early production inspection allows you to detect potential problems quickly.
What Does It Cost: This is FREE for orders over $50,000 USD. For orders over $30,000 but less than $50,000 it costs an additional $250 USD. For orders less than $30,000 it costs $398 USD.
Senior Staff Inspection - $350 any time during your order
You will have a senior staff member inspect the factory for you. Please contact us for more details.
What Does It Cost: $350 per day.
EASY IMEX works in conjunction with a network of technical engineers and laboratories who can take care of almost any product testing or quality control request you have.
Using Approved Samples as the Quality Benchmark
One of the best ways to set your quality standards, is to have a production sample sent from the factory to you. This means production quality must equal the approved samples you
have received from the factory.
Once you approve the quality of this sample, this is written into your contract and Easy Imex will make it clear to the factory they are accountable to this standard.
The quality control team can compare and test the actual production batch with your approved sample.
Usually we have samples sent to our Shanghai office first - before sending them onto you. One of the big problems in China is getting a product sample which is actually from a genuine production run - not a one time, hand crafted sample. Or worse a product simply bought elsewhere!
Nick Young of Paisley Mobility Products is a gold Easy Imex member. Nick says "Trying to buy from China on your own is difficult and risky. Knowing the contract is one Chinese company doing business with another Chinese company, safeguards you and your goods, should there be a problem. I wouldn’t have bought anything from China if I hadn’t come across Easy Imex so I would now be paying double prices for the same goods here in the UK."
Easy Imex - Customers have their say - Import from China
“WE HIGHLY RECOMMEND WORKING WITH EASY IMEX AND PLAN TO CONTINUE OUR SUPPLIER RELATIONSHIP FOR YEARS TO COME”
Easy Imex have been a reliable, efficient supplier over the years, sourcing products for our company, working with our required branding, specific labelling and facilitating logistics from within China to ship into Australia. We highly recommend working with Easy Imex and plan to continue our supplier relationship for years to come.
International Logistics/Compliance Manager
Appco Group Prosales Pty Ltd
Level 6, 80 Cooper St., Surry Hills, NSW 2010
"I FEEL SECURITY KNOWING THAT EVEN THOUGH YOU MAY BE SENDING LARGE AMOUNTS OF MONEY HALFWAY AROUND THE WORLD, YOU ARE GOING TO GET THE PRODUCT THAT YOU REQUESTED"
On one of our container shipments, we had some product damaged due to loading errors. When we received the product we unloaded it and took pictures and contacted Adam with the managed results. He credited us for the damage and also made changes in the loading procedure so this would not happen again. Everyone makes mistakes, it’s how you handle the mistakes with your customers that installs confidence.
I feel security in knowing that even though you may be sending large amounts of money halfway around the world, you are going to get the product that you requested.”
Jerry Tauzier, Lee Medical, Los Angeles, USA
“WE HAVE NOW BEEN DEALING WITH EASY IMEX FOR 18 MONTHS. THEY ARE AN INTEGRAL PART OF OUR TEAM ”
When we first looked at buying from China, we were told many sad stories of losing money, non delivery of goods and just not receiving what you had ordered. The first thing we did was look for a procurement agent that we could communicate with and trust. We found Easy Imex.
We have now been dealing with Easy Imex for the past 18 months. They are an integral part of our team.
We have had several visits to China, but it is no longer a requirement for us. Easy Imex are our eyes and safety net. When dealing with China, everything is paid in advance. You need to be confident that when you make that payment it is actually going to a supplier that will produce the goods.
The Easy Imex payment process is the best protection. Your payments are paid into the Easy Imex trust account. Usually a deposit is paid, and the balance of money is not passed on to the supplier until the goods have been checked and loaded into the container.
Easy Imex have a great support team constantly looking for the goods we require. One supplier is never enough. Easy Imex makes sure that you will not be taken advantage of once a supply chain is established.
We would thoroughly recommend Easy Imex to everyone.
Colin Beehag, Module Plus, Sydney, Australia
“WE FELT VERY WELL CARED FOR AND THAT OUR TIME WAS VALUED AND THEY HAD A CLEAR UNDERSTANDING OF WHAT WE NEEDED TO ACHIEVE”
They have been an amazing asset to us as a start up in terms of establishing sound manufacturing relationships and negotiating the maze of international shipping logistics. I have found their level of advocacy for their clients to be exceptional.
The support and organisation in arranging a manufacturing visit and supplier negotiation on very short notice was fantastic. We felt very well cared for and that our time was valued and they had a clear understanding of what we needed to achieve.
Having an experienced third party handle the logistics of shipping and delivery is an enormous benefit. From the time saving to the review and management of costs this part of their service alone more than outweighs the cost of using Easy Imex.
Paul Watkins, Primal Equipment – Warrnambool, Australia
"THE QUALITY WAS SUPERB. EVERY BIT OF FEEDBACK MENTIONED THE QUALITY OF THE GOODS"
I was worried when the goods came the quality wouldn’t be up to scratch. Such worries were unfounded. The quality was superb. We started from scratch and we sold all of our products in 7 weeks with a mark up of around 50-60%. We have 100% feedback on Ebay and we got Top rated Seller status in 11 weeks. Every bit of feedback mentioned the quality of the goods and the value. Put simply without Easy Imex we would still be scratching our heads. With Easy Imex we now have a profitable business running that will only grow.
John Huntington, Homes For Pets, UK
“EVERYTHING THAT THEY SAID WAS TRUE AND THERE WAS NO GLOSSING OVER OR FAVOURITISM SHOWN TOWARDS ANY PARTICULAR SUPPLIER ”
Easy Imex are an easy (no pun intended) company to deal with.
They have a wealth of knowledge of the local Chinese market and have substantial contacts with reliable Chinese factories. They are also fully aware of the pitfalls of companies dealing within the Chinese system and they are truthful and honest in their approach with my company in pointing out the failures within the Chinese system.
Having said that they are also quick to point out the advantages and the positive aspect with doing business within the Chinese market place and only recommend quality suppliers. They carry themselves as professional hard working company with a healthy appreciation for customer service and satisfaction.
I personally visited the Easy Imex operation in China and laid out with them what products as a company we were looking to import. They organised several Chinese Factories and companies to visit and inspect during my time there.
Everything that they said was true and there was no glossing over or favouritism shown towards any particular supplier. The fact that we also had a English speaking Chinese national, employed by Easy Imex to basically act as the liaison between myself and the suppliers (at no extra cost) was an immense help, and made negotiations a lot easier.
My first shipment went to plan and the quality and inventory of the goods was spot on as agreed to, and likewise with all my other subsequent shipments. All customs, importation and shipping documentation was all in order and the shipments have passed through Australian Customs and Quarantine without a hitch.
David Noble, KJM Contractors, South Australia, Australia
"OUR RELATIONSHIP HAS GONE BEYOND A USER AND SERVICE PROVIDER"
The time we have spent together in discussing our business needs has been truly invaluable.
Easy Imex reduced the complications in dealing with overseas business transactions and taking out risks. The risks that were mitigated by Easy Imex include; prospect factory shortlists, site visits, product inspections, contract negotiations and payment strategies.
Using Easy Imex allowed us to go about our business as usual while they got the transaction sorted out and managed the expected timeline. They informed us when issues were likely to happen and what alternate pathways were available to get the goods to its destination sooner.
They are experts in their field and truly help take the risk and the pain away from dealing with overseas transactions. I trust Easy Imex implicitly. Our relationship has gone beyond a user and service provider.
John Mackenzie, Easy Party Solutions – Traralgon, Australia
We welcome all enquiries so please feel free to contact us if you have any questions. A team member will respond within 24 hours.
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