What is a quality control plan and why do you need to approve it before production begins?
A QC plan is an essential tool for buyers to drive their suppliers to produce goods that reach their quality standard. It will typically list your quality-related expectations that the supplier needs to know about before the production starts which may be anything from legal penalties for poor quality, to the types of process used for production and checking quality, through to making the types of components or even packaging to be used crystal clear.
There are 3 different types of plans, all with roughly the same goal which is to get your products made at the correct quality, but whether you use one or another depends based on your circumstances. This would be factors like if you’re developing a new product or buying off-the-shelf, if you’re placing very large orders, or if you’re buying a complex or sensitive type of product where quality is very critical.
We’ll discuss which are appropriate to whom, the dangers of not using them, and what is included in the plans in far greater detail in this episode of the podcast!
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Listen to the episode right here 👇👇👇
Here’s a summary of key sections of this episode:
✅ Introducing QC plans and why to approve them before production starts.
✅ The product quality control plan to include in a contract with a Chinese supplier – this is generally appropriate for all buyers who should be using a manufacturing contract where possible.
✅ The process control plan that decomposes production in each process step – due to its complexity this is more appropriate for buyers who place large, expensive orders and are buying complex products.
✅ Identifying suppliers who are capable of adhering to a process control plan.
✅ QC plans for buyers who are developing and launching a new product – as this suggests, buyers who are bringing a new product to market will benefit from a plan like this as it really helps keep the manufacturer on course with crystal clear quality expectations during a new product introduction process where things are more likely to go wrong in comparison to producing products they’re very familiar with.
✅ How Chinese suppliers’ culture can be anti planning ahead.
✅ The circumstances where each QC plan is appropriate (or not).
✅ What buyers of simple off-the-shelf products should focus on.
Where can I keep learning about this topic?
- This blog post gives more information about QC planning: How Quality Planning Drives QC and Process Improvement
- We mention process audits as a way to assess if a supplier is capable of creating a process control plan, so listen to this episode of the podcast where we discuss process audits in more detail.
- Get professional help from our team of China manufacturing & quality experts to develop your own QC plan, product specifications, testing processes, and more with QA Consulting solution from Sofeast.
Have you been using quality control plans to manage the quality coming from your suppliers in China or beyond?
Let us know your experiences by leaving a comment, please.
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