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As Christmas is coming, order from customers to Chinese suppliers for many varieties of products are increasing. But… Don’t forget to inspect your products’ quality! Though production is high, don’t give any room for your suppliers to trick you ūüôā So, this is my experience inspecting a handbag in Chinese factory. Bon voyage…

Ready, Set, Go!

Today our team had an inspection in the Southern city of Dongguan. Dongguan is located in southern part of China, near Hong Kong.

dongguan_map copy

In China Dongguan is considered a medium size city, however in the rest of the world it would be consider a pretty big city. With more than 8 million inhabitants the city is a major manufacturing hub, specially for electronics and apparel.

Today’s inspection was for an order of bags. Bags might seem such a simple product but do not get confused, they also can be very tricky! Our journey started in Shenzhen’s bus stop. As you know SBE has an office in the city of Shenzhen and Dongguan borders Shenzhen on the north. Although bordering cities, it took us almost 2 hours to get to our destination. We got to Dongguan at lunch time, which means the factory was closed for a couple of hours so employees could enjoy their lunch. After lunch we headed to the factory to start our inspection!

dongguan bus stationDongGuan Bus Station 

This inspection was a Final Product Inspection (FPI), we do this when the supplier has packed more than 80% of the order. First inspector needs to count the products and make sure everything is ready.  The most important part is to check the size of the product. And by checking I mean measuring every part of the bags, including logos, labels and zippers. Every size needs to be correct and all the bags need to have the same dimensions

resistance 1  

After checking different characteristics of the bags such as material, design, labels or accessories, the inspector started testing the product. Two of those tests were two types of resistance test. The first one consists on pull the handle to make sure the handle will not break from the bag. For the second one, the inspector put weight inside the bag to make sure the bag can carry enough weight. These two tests are very important because we are testing the function of the bag. If a product does not serve its purpose then it is like we do not have any product at all!


After that, we only need to check the workmanship to make sure the product is in good conditions. Inspector sorted out a sample according to AQL (check the AQL table here) and checked that the bags did not have any threats, scratches or any other kind of flaws.


Result, Result, Result…

The final result for this inspection was FAIL! Dimensions were not correct, there were issues with the labels and the bags had too many defects. It is now when the customer needs to decide if he accepts this order or if he needs the supplier to rework it. Anyway, it was a great idea to send SBE. Can you imagine the customer’s face when he would have opened the shipping cartons finding all these mistakes?


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