What is Third-Party Inspection and how does it work?

Third-party inspection certification, or quality certification as it is also known, is one of the best ways to ensure that your product will be up to your customers’ standards. In the highly competitive international market, quality control plays an enormous role in your manufacturing and business success. Read on to learn more about third-party inspection services, including ISO 9001 audit, inspection service in China and other types of third-party testing and inspection services.

When do you need third party inspection

Your new factory’s manager might tell you that third party quality control services aren’t necessary. You can trust us, he’ll say. That is, until there’s a problem. For your peace of mind, stick to one of these basic third party inspection services in China: ISO 9001 audit, BSCI audit or SEDEX certification service. Your international buyers will want to see your credentials on record and having third party inspectors perform audits on a regular basis is a good way to keep track of all that’s going on with your new supplier—problems or not.

How to find a reliable third party inspector

As a business owner in China, you have probably heard that getting an independent third party to conduct regular inspections of your production lines is critical to ensuring your products meet quality standards. Most factories get their ISO 9001 certification audited by a private inspection service or a government agency. The two big differences between these options are price and speed. Private services are fast but expensive; government agencies take longer but cost less per inspection. Which one should you choose? It depends on what you need, but most companies go with a private inspection service for their initial certification audit and then switch to government audits once they’re ready to apply for export licenses.

Why choose an inspection service in China

When you’re importing goods from China, a third-party inspection service can help you keep your quality standards high. With a regular third-party inspection service in China (also called factory audit), a qualified inspector visits your suppliers to make sure they are following protocol—and to provide you with evidence that your Chinese supplier is adhering to your quality control requirements. If issues arise, having a third party audit can be an efficient way to fix them; if you find out about problems yourself, it may take longer and create more stress between parties. You don’t need an inspection service in China every time you place an order with your Chinese supplier—but doing so once or twice each year should be standard practice.

A brief history of the ISO 9001 standard

ISO 9001 began in 1987, when a major aerospace company wanted to ensure that its customers were getting high quality products. As anyone who has purchased an item with a Made in America sticker knows, simply slapping together two parts isn’t enough. You want to know that everything works together as advertised. That meant not only ensuring that every piece of a rocket was made with precision, but also that production facilities were operating efficiently on a daily basis. And it needed to be done with as little cost as possible because excessive costs can lead to lower profits — and losses for both customer and manufacturer alike.

The scope of ISO 9001

The ISO 9001 standard helps companies identify who needs to be involved in a project, from senior leadership to individual contributors. For example, third-party inspection often follows ISO 9001 audits as part of a regular quality control process. The process usually starts with an independent assessment from a third party in order to help determine whether or not any issues are present. This is performed with an unbiased eye so that all parties have a clear understanding of what needs to be done for improvement. After that, it’s up to each company’s management team or leaders to take those recommendations and implement any new changes into daily business operations.

Conclusion – Is third party inspection worth it?

The honest answer here depends on your business. If you’re a large retailer with dozens of locations, or even just a regional operation, third party inspection may be necessary to appease auditors (and customers) who demand quality assurance standards. For smaller organizations that aren’t required to perform a third party inspection by outside entities like ISO, you don’t have to take on an extra financial burden unless your reputation is at stake. In which case, investing in verification from third parties may be worth your time and effort.

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