AQF Quality Control Blog

Quality Alerts

Happy Chinese New Year!

chinese_new_year_inspectionAt Chinese New Year, All machines stand still while hundreds of millions travel home to their families. While fireworks lighten the night, we hope that your shipment is safely on its way. The holiday marks the end of the busiest period of the sourcing year.  Anyone interested in buying from China should be keenly aware of the two important holidays in Spring and Autumn. Time to reflect on improvements for next time.

The Chinese New Year holidays induce extreme conditions in factories. On the one hand, your order needs to be finished before the complete industrial standstill. On the other hand, factory workers need to start their journey well in advance of the actual New Year, because of limited ticket availability. Many workers will also change job unannounced during New Year. This mix obviously causes trouble: spurring defect rates, bribery, incomplete shipments and significant delays.

Defect rates explode due to increased recourse to overtime before Chinese New Year. Internal quality control of factories is often pushed to accept more defects. Last-minute production is also poorly wrapped and loaded. The only remedy is a quality inspection. We can make sure that you only receive proper goods. In any case, it is up to you to decide to delay shipment or simply sort out defective products.

Bribery is a major issue before the Chinese New Year holidays. Factory workers, inspectors, and managers need to buy tickets and presents for their families. Many already plan on changing their job during the holidays. Buyers are the obvious losers of the constellation.  Your only remedy is to make sure to send long-term, well-paid and happy employees to the factory. At AQF, we also conduct frequent internal audits for our inspectors and our strict supervisors double check reports in our Shenzhen office.

Incomplete shipments result from the combination of delays in production and strong pressure by overseas buyers. While we at AQF cannot magically produce your goods, we can warn you about incomplete shipments early. Our report will give you the necessary information to decide whether you want to delay the complete shipment. If you proceed, you can warn your clients and arrange another shipment for the earliest date possible.

If your goods have not left China before the Chinese New Year holiday, they will remain stuck for at least another week. For some shipping companies, especially in the hinterland, it is even hard to rearrange a new date because offices are closed during the holiday. In order to get your products ready in time, have someone inspect the factory at an early date to discover delays before it’s too late.

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Picture of Claire Piccinno, writing for Asian Quality Focus

Claire Piccinno

After experiencing critical quality problems while working for trading company in China, Claire decided to dedicate to the quality control industry since 2009. She is now AQF marketing manager.

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