In the traditional trade of international trade, Pre shipment inspection has always been the favorite inspection service for importers. Importers who are thousands of miles away cannot confirm with their own eyes whether the bulk production meet their requirements and they are worried that the bulk production will not be corrected after they arrive at the destination port. Therefore, pre shipment inspection is derived. After the long-term development of foreign trade in China, the pre shipment inspection has become more and more mature and perfect, so what will the pre shipment inspection be like now?
When the 100% of products are finished and 80% of products are packed, the third-party inspection company will arrange an inspector who is familiar with the professional knowledge of the products to the factory. The inspector will write an inspection report by confirming the quantity of the bulk production, randomly selecting the bulk production according to the sampling rules, checking the visual and basic tests of the products. The inspection report can evaluate the overall quality of the goods and reflect the average quality of the products. At the same time, it can also tell the importer the management problems in the factory. The importer checks the defects of the products through the inspection report, and confirms whether the products meet his own sales requirements and arrange the shipment . This is the pre shipment inspection suitable for all products.
The basis is generally divided into two aspects, standards and customer requirements. The first is standards, which are divided into enterprise standards, industry standards and national standards from strict to loose. Third-party inspection companies usually conduct inspections according to industry standards and national standards. In the standard documents, the visual requirements, test indexes and test methods of products are listed for use by laboratories, factories and inspection companies. In order to better serve importers, CLI has set up a standard database in the system, which contains the standards of different products and is convenient to inquiry and use.
It is never enough to have the established standard, because the standard only provides reference value. For third-party inspection companies, many tests in the standard cannot be completed by relying on the simple equipment conditions of the factory. At this time, some smart third-party inspection companies need to get clients’ special product requirements, and then simulate the extreme environment by consumer and conduct multiple tests according to the specificity of each product. The purpose of this operation is not only to dig into the inner risks of the products deeper, but also to use the products many times in advance and find potential complaints from the perspective of consumers. Pre shipment inspection based on standards and client requirements are often more comprehensive and help importers avoid Recall risks.
Send the order materials and inspection requirements. CLI will sort out the data for the first time to list the doubts and wait for the answers from the factory.
Confirm the inspection time before shipment. More importantly, further confirm the client’s special requirements for product production and doubts. At the same time, knowing the scale of the factory and the testing equipment that can be provided by factory, the purpose is that inspectors can prepare necessary measuring tools in advance and infer the potential risks of the factory.
If the client provides the third party inspection approval samples, the technicians will analyze the approval samples and the special requirements of clients. The purpose is to help inspectors understand the product better and to maintain clear and fair thought at the inspection site.
According to the analysis results of QA department, the inspection materials are sorted out for the second time, which is helpful for office staff to deeply understand products and control risks.
Keep in touch with the factory and inspectors to avoid blind spots of inspectors. If there are something special happening, contact with the factory in time to solve it and give feedback to the client.
CLI inspection report is composed of quantity table, remarks, defects, tests, size table, product pictures, pictures of warehouse bulk production and non-bribery declaration. A CLI inspection report is mostly 50-80 pages, and even reaches 150 pages when there are many items of the products. A complete report can clearly show our inspection work, please see the specific format of CLI inspection report.
Consumer products category
CLI heard from the importer who uses pre shipment inspection for the first time, before using the pre shipment inspection service, the importer thinks it is unnecessary, which not only spends a lot of time on communication, but also delays the shipment time and even affects the sales period. However, when there are many consumer complaining about the products sold by the importer, he has to contact the factory to find out the root of the problem. At this time, the factory will only answer: We produce the bulk production according to the samples confirmed by you. In this case, importers only can face complaints from consumers alone. Therefore, if the importer does not use the pre shipment inspection service, it is difficult for him to get compensation from the factory and he cannot know the technological defects of the products, unless he spends a lot of time studying the production technology of the products, which is obviously unrealistic.
After the importer used the pre shipment inspection service for several times, CLI actually found the product process problems from the factory who he had cooperated for many years and CLI helped the client solve the consumer complaints that had been bothering him. Because of the inspection report, the factory was also very cooperative, arrange workers and change materials to improve the product technology as soon as possible. This is why importers need to use the pre shipment inspection service. Once there are problems in product quality during the trade, the third-party inspection companies will not be partial to any side, but will only record all the problems that actually found. The importer can take over through third-party inspections and require the factory to solve production problems, further improve the supply chain and promote survival of the fittest.
Generally speaking, because importers and third-party inspection companies are different in scale, so importers should not blindly only consider branded inspection companies when choosing third-party inspection companies, what suits you is the best. (Please click How to choose a reliable inspection company ). As far as the pre shipment inspection service is concerned, it has different functions for importers of different scales. After all, the needs of importers are different and it also depends on the quality grade of products purchased by importers.
Firstly, for small and medium-sized importers, this type of importer usually has a small number of employees and many things are decided by the boss. At the same time, the cooperative suppliers in China are basically small and such suppliers do not have their own factories. They send out orders to many small workshops for production, so the product risk is the greatest. Therefore, for small and medium-sized importers, pre shipment inspection is very necessary, because every batch of bulk production has great quality risks. Because the importer doesn’t know what kind of factory his products are produced in, he can only trust the suppliers. Even though he finds that the supplier puts his products in a small workshop, he can only verbally ask the supplier to improve the quality of the products because of the low purchasing amount of the products.
Once the small and medium-sized importer has used the pre shipment inspection, he can know the overall quality of each batch of goods. Because the inspection company will randomly select a certain number of bulk products for inspection according to the sampling rules and try to find batch problems and more kinds of defects, so that the importer can require the factory to rework the products in time, or change the production process and re-produce the bulk products. For small and medium-sized importers, although some inspection fees are spent from the original budget, consumer complaints are greatly reduced. This kind of operation is very popular among importers.
However, large importers mostly cooperate with large supermarkets or have their own online stores, so most of the products they purchase are middle and high-end. The management and quality control of Chinese factories that produce these products are stricter than others, so that the importers trust the quality of the product and they only occasionally arrange pre shipment inspection. However, once the product has a consumer complaint, the brand building of importers will be affected. Assuming that a large importer conducts a pre shipment inspection on every batch of his order and summarizes the past complaints to a third-party inspection company. The final result is that the importer’s products can be improved in quality, the quality control system can be improved and the brand reputation can be maintained. If you spend a little money on big things, the inspection cost is only 1% or even less than 1% of the amount of the bulk. Why not?
By comparing importers of different scales, we can know that pre shipment inspection is equally important to them. Although the amount of products is different, most products are directly facing consumers. If the importer fails to carry out self-inspection after receiving the goods and has not used the pre shipment inspection in the early stage, then the result can be imagined! Won’t consumer complaints pile up like a mountain? This is probably the biggest headache for importers. According to the statistics of CLI system, after using pre shipment inspection the complaints received by 85% importers dropped sharply in one quarter, which directly improved the satisfaction of consumers.
Since the data shows the importance of pre shipment inspection, what kind of pre shipment inspection should be chosen that provided by a third-party inspection company?
As mentioned above, with the development of China’s foreign trade, China has become a big manufacturing country in the world. More and more importers purchase various commodities in China and the demand for pre shipment inspection is also growing rapidly, resulting in various third-party inspection companies. Corresponding to importers of different scales, the scale of third-party inspection companies is different from the services they provide. Importers should choose the third-party inspection companies according to their own needs, otherwise the results may be unsatisfactory.
Let’s start with large inspection companies. Most of them are multinational companies with branches all over the world. Although such inspection companies have a long history and rich experience, their main profit base is laboratory test, so there are great problems in the operation of pre shipment inspection. For example, the customer manager in the office is backward in service consciousness, does not pay attention to improving the professional level of inspectors and thinks that the inspection work is attached to the laboratory. As a result, the inspector simply inspects and takes test samples on site, thus falsely reporting the inspection workload. The company’s management of inspectors is out of control and inspectors can easily team up to blackmail the factory. The inspection report is simple and does not reflect the key points, which is not conducive to the subsequent improvement of products.
Although the inspection fees of large inspection companies are high, some importers like to cooperate with them, because holding an inspection report from an internationally renowned inspection company can make consumers trust more and enhance the brand effect of importers. However, CLI still suggests that this kind of importers need to consider product quality, which is the foundation of brand building.
Small and medium-sized inspection companies are usually not well-known and the inspection fees are also medium, but they do much more work than large inspection companies. For example, according to the client’s order, CLI will advise the client to send a approval sample to the office first. Subsequently, QA department conducts quality audit, mainly including research on production process, potential risks of common defects and pre-research on the scale of the production factory, etc. The office staff will inform the inspectors one by one about the research results of QA department to ensure that the inspectors fully understand the client’s product requirements and potential risks. It is worth noting that on the inspection day, the staff will keep in touch with the inspector to avoid missing any points. After this way of pre shipment inspection, it is not difficult for inspectors to find batch problems. For the factory, it was a nightmare, but for the importer, it is a timely help. Maybe before that, he has worried about how to restrain the factory!
Usually after using the pre shipment inspection of CLI for several times, the importer can see the transformation of the factory, but the premise is that the factory is willing to cooperate with the improvement, because he values the potential for future development of customers. This result is overjoyed and everything will fall into place. That’s why importers love the pre shipment inspection provided by medium-sized inspection companies.
The last category is the subminiature inspection company, which has low inspection fee. By taking advantage of this, it can advertise through multiple channels to attract importers. Many importers are willing to try low-price inspection and take chances. If the result is not bad, wouldn’t it save a lot of fee? But unfortunately, the result was not what was expected.
Pre shipment inspection provided by subminiature inspection company is a minimalist operation! There are few defects found in a 20-30 page inspection report. I’m afraid the inspector is acting as a photographer on site, which only gives the importer the illusion that the workload is very full. Such inspection companies also understand their own shortcomings, so they occasionally require the inspector to found quality problems of product to prevent clients from complaining or even lose them.
In fact, the reason is very obvious. The quotation is low and they need to pay the inspector. The remaining profit is pitiful! So how does the company survive? They can only rely on the workload of more than one order a day and require the inspectors to go to 2-3 factories a day for inspection, so as to realize the profit growth of the company. However, this goes against the meaning of pre shipment inspection. They don't have time to check enough sample sizes, so that they can't find the technological problems of products. In addition, inspectors usually only have high school education and their English is poor. Even the basic printed information may not be checked clearly and the report can only be translated into English by the office. Therefore, if importers are considering improving their own supply chain management level, please choose a third-party inspection company carefully, or try different inspection companies at the same time to select one with high cost-effective.
The above analysis from two aspects, importers and third-party inspection companies, explains the different functions of pre shipment inspection. Although the routine operation of each inspection company is the same, the energy invested by each inspection company is quite different. As far as CLI is concerned, it belongs to a small inspection company, which pays attention to improving its own QA level, because it is the basis of improving professional services and then tailors the inspection process according to the special requirements of different clients, from the office to the inspector, anticipates the risks in every parts and finally gives clients a professional and targeted pre shipment inspection report. This service is not aimed at factories. On the contrary, there are many benefits for factories, such as improving production efficiency, reducing production costs, controlling supply chains and standardizing enterprise standards. Self-motivated factories also hope that they can develop more stably and rapidly, expand production scale and increase sales profits.
Importers can also get inspiration for product improvement, expand sales market, raise brand awareness and stand firm in the fierce competition in the market from the pre shipment inspection services. The tripartite cooperation among importers, factories and third-party inspection companies promotes each other, not only the cooperation of pre shipment inspection, but also many other types of inspection services in international trade, which require importers to choose suitable inspection services according to their own needs, so as to solve the final purpose of improving product quality.
This article is an original article for CLI Inspection, who is committed to providing high-quality product inspection technology and know-how sharing for global importers and retailers to make imports safer.
All rights reserved. The contents of this website provided by CLI Inspection may not be reproduced or used without express permission.
For reprint, please contact with CLI Inspection, thank you.
Senior professionals in the field of quality inspection are committed to finding and sharing valuable experiences.