SCM Development, Management & Optimization

Supplier Quality Management

Shentou provides on site services
such as factory audit and pre shipment
inspections in China

Shentou Services

Domestic vs. Overseas Audit Organizations

International automotive companies having their Chinese suppliers audited by international organizations usually find the audit results quite satisfactory. However, when local Chinese organizations undertake similar audits of the same suppliers, many more non-conformity items, some quite serious, are discovered.


○ Most overseas auditors have limited, if any, knowledge in the Chinese language. Their accompanying Chinese translators unfortunately are not trained in quality system, the production technologies or factory management.

○ When detailed audit contents are communicated to the suppliers in advance, suppliers will usually have the relevant documents translated into English based on the instructions. Yet, during the actual audits, when other related documents are requested by the auditors, those documents are usually still in Chinese. Without accurate technical translations on the spot, auditors are usually forced to form an audit opinion by simple confirming “yes, the document is available”.

○ Most on site documentations are in Chinese and therefore difficult for the auditors to understand as they walk through the factories, so the auditors would usually focus on individual process. It is difficult for the auditors to make accurate judgment on the suppliers’ quality management in the entire control process.

○ Quite often, the international auditors are experts on selected technical fields or automotive subsystems, not necessarily always matching the suppliers’ technological or product profiles.

Relatively speaking, a China domestic audit organization with sufficient knowledge and experience would be better positioned to conduct the audit when the status of suppliers’ quality management systems is more naturally on display and better able to see through the appearance in order to get to the real underlying issues.

This article was first published in April 2017

keywords:Product Development  Project Management  Services Post COVID-19  Factory Audits

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