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Inspection Process

Factory audit in China: opening meeting

AQF_Factory audit in China - open meeting

To ensure the success of a factory audit in China, as well as all over Asia there are few steps to carefully follow. One of them is the “orientation meeting”, also called “opening meeting”. It should be cautiously driven for a simple factory audit or an extensive factory audit.

Factory audit in China: how does the opening meeting start?

The lead auditor, if several auditors are participating, is the one responsible to lead the meeting and invite the relevant department heads to attend. It includes the management representative, quality manager, and top management.

When the audit is performed by a 3rd party quality control and audit company, the meeting begins by the company presentation. It is followed by an explanation about the audit purpose. Afterwards the lead auditor explains some documents linked with the audit conditions such as the anti-bribery policy (or code of conduct), and asks for the management representative signature on each one of them.

After confirming the audit conditions, the lead auditor explains the audit agenda. He lists the different sections of the audit as well as when they will be assessed. In case there are several auditors, he will also mention the person responsible for auditing each section.

Now it is time for the lead auditor to go deeper into its explanation of the standards. He should list the documents to be checked, explain the audit result grading system and report/forms used.

The cooperation during a factory audit in China (or Asia)

When an importer audits his supplier through a quality control company, the auditor should stress the need for cooperation the factory’s side. To do so, he explains that all the information about their products, manufacturing process or audit results are only disclosed to the client. He also agrees on the safety precautions to be taken during the factory tour. It includes the permission to take photos of product, warehouse, production lines, factory gate, showroom, etc.

Before the closing of the meeting, the lead auditor invites the attendants to pose questions regarding the audit. When all questions are answered and clarified, the lead auditor begins the audit according to the agenda previously mentioned.

And you: do you follow this step when performing a factory audit in China?

Source: this picture was taken during a factory audit in China, VDA 6.3, performed last week.

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Habib Rkha

Habib is responsible for making sure AQF’s clients are well looked after in China. Before AQF, he held various positions responsible for Quality in the automotive industry in China and Europe. Born and raised in Morocco, Habib lived in France for 10 years and speaks French, English, Arabic and Chinese. He has a master’s degree in Mechanical Engineering and Industrial Quality from the University of Compiegne (France).

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2 responses to “Factory audit in China: opening meeting”

  1. Habib Rkha says:

    @boursier: thank you for your comment.
    This meeting is hold just before the factory visit and the audit itself. The main purpose is to explain the scope of your audit. For most of the audits (not inspections) this step is very important. It allows the auditors to perform the audit being understood by all the relevant people in the factory.
    They(the factory people) need to understand which documents/records the auditor will check, which part of the factory he needs to visit. Also, in order to implement corrective actions later on, they need to understand how the auditor will assess them.
    We hope to have clarified our point of view and look forward to share our opinions soon!

  2. boursier says:

    in my experience, we need have the real view of a factory, so if you have these step before, you will have a wrong idea of your future partner , all will be superficial.
    The best opinion about a factory is to inspect without tell why you are here and with an experience auditor who have manufacturing experience.
    Of course, later, you can have meeting with your future manufacturer for be formal in your process that you need for produce.

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