Clients are often asking what tools the inspectors carry, and sometimes expect them to carry very specific pieces. The truth is, most inspectors carry a limited number of tools and quality control companies rely on as the factory to supply many larger or more obscure tools or testing devices in order to do our jobs. See below for a breakdown of what is carried by whom: Continue reading
Most inspection companies claim to be able to set up inspections a few days in advance. In most cases, this works out fine, and it is enough time to coordinate with the factory.
Recently, we have been seeing more and more clients requesting inspections next day or sometimes even same day! I won’t even try to explain the logic in asking for an inspection in the same day if it is already 11 PM in China, but similarly how is a company to set up an inspection for the next day when it is the middle of the night (same day of inspection in Asia)? Continue reading
Just the other day, this ship ran aground off a reef in New Zealand. This ship held over 1300 containers, many holding hazardous materials. Hopefully they were packed with enough dessicants!
In all seriousness, this has caused serious environmental concerns in the surrounding regions. Of course this is not a common occurrence, but it is one extremely unlikely risk of ocean freight shipping!
Read more about this from the AP here.
Meeting with clients, I noticed that many misunderstand the meaning of “checklist” in the QC process. this word is often used inaccurately, so what’s the real definition and what does a QC checklist contains?
Called the Quality manual, product quality guide, quality control plan, compliance checklist etc. by others, in the QC industry it is simply called QC checklist. Continue reading
If you are among our clients, you have certainly received an email from us explaining that very soon the “Same-Day Reporting” will become an option at AQF.
We will indeed continue to offer detailed “pre-results” on the same day of the inspection. However, to ensure the final report is prepared with adequate time and attention, we plan to release the final version the next working day after the inspection. The vast majority of clients are happy to receive the “initial results report” on the day of the inspection and the final report the following working day. Additional fees may apply for the rare client who requires the final report to be completed on the day of the inspection.
Why is next-day reporting now standard?
- We want to be as reliable as possible, so we prefer our quality supervisors to be reviewing reports during the day rather than late at night (sometimes as late as 1 or 2 AM!) We noticed that it was easy for small issues to go unnoticed, when the report is reviewed late at night. Supervisors are not at their best in the late evening. They are much more likely to catch inconsistencies or abnormal signals during normal working hours, especially in the morning.
- We want our quality supervisors to be able to reach the inspectors or vendors in case they have questions about the findings or the report. When reports are validated after 8 PM China time, we are often unable to get in touch with the factory or inspector to ask check details before releasing the report. Since our mission is to provide very clear and complete information, so we think this tradeoff (more superficial review for faster reporting) is not a good idea.
- Most clients have stated a preference to wait the next day in order to get more reliable results and reports. Most organized clients have a margin of at least a couple of days between the inspection date and the loading date/shipment date, and would rather wait for the detailed report than push it too quickly.
- Our employees are our most important asset and we want to keep them happy. When working at night, our quality supervisors have the choice to work from the offices or from home (they are experienced, qualified and trained enough to do so). Of course, when you finish the work at 1AM, sometimes 2 AM, most of the people will choose to work from home, so they can go to bed directly after the work is done. Although we encourage them to have a separate room to do this, most Chinese will have their computer in their living room, leading to possible distractions from other family members. Simply put, working late at night and out of a house is not the ideal situation to prepare a reliable inspection report!
- Because we want to keep the Same-Day Reporting as an option. Because we understand some clients really need it more than others occasionally, but feel that late night reporting should only be done in emergency situations.
Some other companies systematically send the reports same day, but in many cases they are either very small or do not have great care for their employees or the report’s reliability. At AQF, reliability is our #1 job!
India, one of the world’s fastest growing markets, has been one of AQF’s fastest growing regions of late. With significant manufacturing moving out of China due mainly to increased pricing, India is seeing more manufacturing action than in years before. Offering everything from clothing to jewelry, India is enticing buyers with its relatively lower pricing. Continue reading
During the past year, several of our clients encountered serious damages to their products due to humidity issues.
For example, some faced: moldy shoes, moldy car mats, unstuck carton boxes, cracked wood furniture, rusty metal (screws etc) and more. In fact there are a range of possible issues including mold, corrosion, deformation, and even functionality problems. Continue reading
In a few recent visits to factories in Bangladesh, both by company management and inspectors, AQF’s team found young children working in these factories. While not too surprising in a developing and relatively chaotic country, this of course is a serious issue for these factories, and one that is not to be taken lightly.
A few months ago, we started a discussion in a Bangladesh clothing industry group on Linkedin, to discuss the prevalence of child labor in Bangladesh, as presented by my colleague Sandrine in her article ” Children Working in Bangladesh: what buyers need to know”. Our desire was not to smear the Bangladeshi textile industry, but rather to shed light to an important issue. Continue reading
Just this month, AQF moved into our new Downtown Boston headquarters on the 4th floor of 50 Franklin St.
With this central location, we are sure to be more accessible to our Northeast clients, and other clients visiting the area.
Feel free to stop by if you are in Boston to meet with us!