Household goods manufacturing and supply chain operations often are vulnerable to many violations in compliance and regulation, and has left many retailers pleading that they were unaware of any violations. Today, this is no longer acceptable, but a factory audit will help to address these challenges head on.
An audit of your supplier’s factory is conducted to ensure that your supplier and their factory’s operations are able to produce your product to your expected levels of quality, and also ensure compliance according to your product’s destination market.
This is not the only reason though...
It will also assess the risks that may be present with a particular supplier and provide direction on how you can go about managing that risk. Ultimately, the decision to work with a particularly supplier will be up to you, but your decision will at least be based on a trusted risk assessment with a presented improvement strategy.
This blog post aims to help you in preventing common violations in regulation and compliance experienced during the manufacturing process. This checklist takes you through a what a brief assessment of your supplier’s quality systems would look like.
We will cover 3 main sections in this checklist:
- Quality Assurance & Technical Questions
- Social / Health & Safety Questions
- Environmental Audit Questions
How Does A Quality Audit Grading System work?
For each checkpoint, the following guideline should be used;
N/A - Checkpoint not available or not evaluated.
0 - Major non-conformity - absence of procedure or proof of big discrepancies in implementation - a corrective action will be designed for this checkpoint.
1 - Minor non-conformity - incomplete procedure or proof of discrepancies in implementation - a corrective action will be designed for this checkpoint.
2 - Acceptable - procedures are available and implementation is acceptable, however opportunities for improvement exist - an opportunity for improvement can be designed for this checkpoint.
3 - Good - procedure and implementation acceptable, no opportunity for improvement identified.
4 - Best Practice - factory has designed and implemented best practice of industry.
If your Quality Assurance scoring is below standard, then API is able to customize its QA solutions based on your specific needs and requirements. API will provide the supplier information on how they can go about improving various things within a factory. This information will be relayed back you, the retailer, where you will gain insight into your potential supplier and their factory operations.
The social audit assesses the social systems and structures that your supplier has in place and is normally based on the standards as laid out by the SA8000. As a professional third party auditing company, API is able to provide their industry expertise and long time experience to aid you in achieving your social compliance certification.
A factory quality audit checklist allows you insight into your suppliers quality control processes and manufacturing capabilities, their strengths and weaknesses. This empowers you to strengthen those weaker processes where needed.
A quality audit checklist will help ensure:
- your factory’s quality systems are up to date, organized and well recorded.
- confidence in the selection of your supplier based on checklist insights.
- confidence in the quality of the product that is manufactured.
- confidence that compliance standards are actively being met by your supplier.
This approach allows you to build a more collaborative relationship with your supplier, where you supplier has a more invested approach to your brand and its product. It helps to ensure top class quality systems and a mutually beneficial relationship between supplier and retailer.