Supplier QA/QC Services
For over 20 years, Shentou has been helping international OE and aftermarket clients in the automotive industry to develop, manage and optimize their China supply chains, especially with supplier quality management, i.e. QA & QC.
Shentou’s services include factory inspections, factory audits, pre-shipment inspections (PSI), supplier quality management system (QMS) consulting and many other supply chain management (SCM) services.
Factory inspection is one of Shentou’s most popular services for international buyers, particularly during the COVID-19. Factory inspection is different from a standard factory audit which is a comprehensive assessment of the factory’s overall quality management system based on the complete terms of the ISO9001 or IATF16949 standards.
Factory inspection provides international buyers with an efficient and cost-effective tool to assess the factory’s basic capability in supplying quality goods so that the buyers can make reasonable purchasing decisions.
Inspection of the key areas of the factory, including
○ The factory’s basic information
○ Management of the main raw material suppliers
○ Development and design of products and processes
○ Production process management
○ Product management
○ Inspections of the factory as described above
○ Compilation of the inspection report which includes assessment of the inspection items
○ A standard factory inspection usually takes 1 day (8 hours) with one inspector on-site at the factory
○ Inspection Report, in both Chinese & English, to be submitted within 3 working days after the inspection.
○ Quotation of Shentou’s service fee for factory inspection is available upon request
○ Annual factory inspection package could also be custom-designed
Factory audits is a comprehensive tool that helps international buyers to assess the overall quality management system (QMS) of a factory, based on the complete terms of the ISO 9001 or IATF 16949 standards, so as to evaluate the supplier capability in supplying qualified goods according to the buyer’s requirements and in maintaining long-term quality stability.
The type of factory audit includes the QMS audit, process audit and product audit.
The QMS audit, including documentation and on-site audits, covers the following:
○ The scope of the QMS and customer’s special requirement
○ Quality principles, and roles and responsibilities of staff
○ Analysis of risks and opportunities and actions to address them
○ Quality objectives and plans to achieve them
○ Infrastructure and environment of process operation
○ Monitoring and measuring resources
○ Staff competence, awareness and communication
○ Document and record creations, updates and controls
○ Operational planning and control
○ Product design and development
○ Supplier management
○ Production and service provision and control
○ Release of products and services
○ Disposition of nonconforming products
○ Monitoring, measurement, analysis and evaluation.
○ Continuous improvement capability
Process audit focuses more on process characteristics, the control capability of key processes and the processes related to client’s products, usually based on the control plan.
Product audit focuses on controls of product characteristic and customer expectations in a specific status.
○ Factory audit as described above
○ Compilation of the audit report which includes assessment and grading of the audit items
○ Communication with the factory on the nonconformities (NCs) discovered during the audit
○ Reviewing and approving the NC corrective and preventive actions as well as quality improvement plan submitted by the factory
○ Monitoring and verifying the NC corrective and preventive actions by the factory
○ NC closing
○ The number of days needed for the audit depends on the certified scopes of the factory, the nature of the product being purchased, and the number of effective employees at the factory, typically from 2 to 4 days with one auditor.
○ System Audit Report / Process Audit Report / Product Audit Report, in both Chinese & English, to be submitted within 3 working days after the completion of the audit if it is a single audit.
○ Quotation of Shentou’s service fee for factory audit is available upon request
○ Annual factory audit package could also be custom-designed
Pre-shipment Inspections (QC Inspections)
Pre-shipment inspection (PSI) is the full QC inspection of the product quality before the goods are shipped to assess if the overall quality of the products meets the requirements before shipment.
Typically the PSI is based on the inspection and acceptance criteria that have been agreed to by the customer, including the determination of the Acceptance Quality Level (AQL), the general sample level and the sample size.
QC Inspections also include:
○ Pre-production Inspection (PPI): conducted before the start of the production process to assess the raw materials and components to be used in manufacturing, and whether they are in conformity with product specifications.
○ During Production Inspection (DPI or DUPRO): conducted usually early in the production process to assess whether productions are carried out according to the control plans and work instructions, product qualities comply with the standards, and deliveries can meet the requirements.
Pre-shipment Inspection Scope:
The Pre-shipment Inspection checks qualities related with:
○ Surface roughness
○ Pre-shipment inspection as described above
○ Communication with the factory and customer on correction plan of nonconformities discovered during the inspection
○ Re-inspection if necessary
○ Compilation of the pre-shipment inspection report
Pre-shipment Inspection Duration:
○ The number of days for the Pre-shipment Inspection depends on the types and quantities of the products to be inspected, usually from 1 to 3 days with one inspector.
○ Re-inspection typically takes 1 to 2 days
Pre-shipment Inspection Report:
○ Pre-shipment Inspection Report, in both Chinese & English, to be submitted within 3 working days after the inspection
Pre-shipment Inspection Fees:
○ Quotation of Shentou’s service fee for Pre-shipment Inspection is available upon request
○ Annual Pre-shipment Inspection package as well as programs for Pre-production Inspections and During Production Inspections could be custom-designed.
On-site Inspections/Audits + Remote Buyer Participations
To help clients manage the China supply chains in the face of COVID-19, Shentou has introduced a unique service model for the key QA/QC tasks described above, i.e. “on-site audits/inspections plus remote buyer participations”, that enables international buyers to effectively manage and control their supplier quality in China without being physically present in China.
The effectiveness of the new service model requires meticulous advanced planning, especially on the identification of key product and process characteristics. It depends not only on the service provider’s audit or inspection skills and experience, but also its knowledge of the specific products and the production processes, so that buyer could remotely monitor and participate via video links in the on-site activities during pre-determined segments that are critical to quality control.
Please check www.ShentouServices.com for more detailed introductions of Shentou Services.
keywords：Product Development Project Management Services Post COVID-19 Factory Audits