Welcome to the Sourcing Nova page on product inspection and testing.  You, the customer, can consider this as your introduction to Product Inspection and Testing 101.

Product inspection and testing – Purpose

There are two elements of production that have a degree of error – humans and machinery.  Both of these are required for production.  There is always a chance an employee or machine could create or have an error.  In house product inspections may not recognize minor and/or minute flaws.  It is always wise to have an external entity, like Sourcing Nova, perform product inspections on behalf of your company.

Why use Sourcing Nova?

  1. An internal quality control check, QC, can certainly suffice at times, but a lack of detail, potential bias or unreliable reporting is always possible. Sourcing Nova will approach all products with a critical eye and attention to detail outside of any potential bias or preconceived notions about your products.
  2. Sourcing Nova works with independent third party companies, capable of performing inspections on a wide number of products made here in China. We follow standards based on several different factors and are unbiased in our reporting on our findings. You can be assured that our attention to detail and keen sense of what is and is not right for your products is a top priority for us and your products.  Feel free to choose your own third party independent group, and Sourcing Novas will be happy to assist and collaborate with the inspection group.
  3. Sourcing Novas have connections and contacts with some of the best quality control labs and locations in the country. We will make certain your products make it to a lab or testing facility quickly and safely.

The best time to inspect

There is no absolute best time, but we strongly recommend pre-shipment inspections, PSI, when approximately 80 percent your order is complete.  It is also common to have an inspection at 15 percent complete.  We, as your production inspection professionals, consider this the bare minimum for most products.

A PSI inspection is not without flaw.  A late inspection may not address the defects and issues within a particular order.  This is why an early inspection is best for the immediate identification of issues before the customer takes possession of the order.

The best location to inspect

The location of the supplier is the best place to start with an inspector attending the inspection.  Sourcing Nova will have inspectors review the products and often have a pre-production sample for a comparison and to set a standard of production.

What is product testing?

Product testing is done under strict control standards and in a lab setting by highly trained individuals in certain standards of production and safety.  More importantly, testing is done at a third-party location away from the production and/or manufacturer’s facility.  Sourcing Nova oversees proper handling and delivery of all products to and from the facility.

Product testing – purpose

Sourcing Nova’s testing means your products are safe, will meet the performance level set by your company and function as the customer expects.

Is product testing necessary?

This is strictly a personal decision on behalf of you and your company.  However, here are a few considerations to help drive that decision:

  1. The use and attributes – Some products are, by nature, potentially dangerous and carry risk. Childrens’ products, food and beverages are the most common products needing testing to meet standards for safety in many different situations.
  2. Statements made about your product – If you have made promises and/or statements on the quality and performance of your product, it is wise to test the product to be sure it matches both of those standards. You can benchmark, compare to competition products, at this time.
  3. Regulations and rules – All products produces have certain regulations that must be met. Some regulations, REACH and CPSIA for example, are over those products that carry risk of harm to end customers and users. Meeting this compliance is necessary in certain markets.

When can Sourcing Nova test?

There are two types of samples and two stages of product testing we recommend.

Pre-production – Samples before the mass production takes place is always wise.  It is the first step to prevent and resolve issues that may manifest themselves during a standard production run of products.  It is common to have a product sample from this stage, especially if there is a new supplier or product and done independently of a lab testing setting.  A product sample ensures a supplier is well aware of requirements and standards set by your company.

Mass production – Once the production is started and underway, products can be pulled at various stages and degrees of completion.  This way testing can be completed at the factory on site or in an independent lab.

As a general rule, we take samples at all stages for a true representation of the order.

Testing individual SKU’s are recommended, particularly if made with different materials.  Only a small selection is enough because materials and production processes are standardized and consistent for each order.

Are previous reports worth checking?

It is common to have some companies provide previous reports to demonstrate standards of production.  These are not completely reliable for absolute compliance.  Any number of factors, including a change in labor, equipment and/or materials can effect testing and a report.  Independent labs performing tests on products keeps the products compliant, safe and within accepted standards of production across all competition and similar products.

Quality results – Sourcing Nova’s process

Our qualifications are the best way to be certain the results are fair, within acceptable tolerances and safe for consumers.  In your case, suppliers audited under ISO9001 or other compliance frameworks are best and generally accepted across any number of manufacturing industries and companies. Sourcing Nova will ensure all manufacturers have passed ISO9001 audit.

Final thoughts

If you are considering Chinese production services and are concerned about factors outside of your direct control, contact Sourcing Nova.  We will be glad to over see your product inspection and testing, be your Chinese inspection team and eyes so you can be sure your customers will be 100 percent satisfied this time and every time.