API will select an appropriate inspector with experience to suit the client and product. In order to achieve this, we need to receive inspection bookings 2-5 working days before the requested inspection date.However API is a flexible company and we can accommodate client request on much shorter notice. Contact API for further information.
API guarantees typed reports to be e-mailed by 1800 hrs the day after the Inspection, except in the case of unavoidable circumstances. Normally, it is a good practice to ensure the factory finishes production two days before loading a container for shipment. However, due to poor planning or lack of space, factories may experience difficulties achieving this. Often containers arrive the moment the goods are ready. This does not leave much time for inspections or problem-solving. Purchasers should stipulate a two-day gap in their purchasing terms since this affords the opportunity for a Report to be presented to the buyer and shipping decisions to be made in the absence of undue time pressure. In the event that the factory is poorly managed and that a result must be available as soon as possible, API can provide a Quick Result Form which is the inspector’s handwritten draft faxed from the factory and briefly reviewed by the API’s Hong Kong based Customer Service Executive before forwarding it to the client within 2 hours of the inspection being completed.
At first glance our fee may seem expensive, but once one takes into account all administrative costs, checklist preparation, report verification as well as the supporting extensive product knowledge, electronic databases and staff experience, then this price can be considered as a good value for money. If your factory requires a heavy volume of inspections, is subject to little seasonal variation and produces a narrow range of goods and sells to a narrow range of suppliers, it may make sense to build up a team of on-site inspectors in China or another Asian location but bear in mind the hidden costs of communications, managers, office registration, taxes, equipment and time spent hiring and training. API has an existing infra-structure and due to economies of scale can make the price quite attractive for high volume clients, who will appreciate the advantages of outsourcing in terms of flexibility and the avoidance of the headaches and aggravation that come with managing a team of staff that is spread out over so many different factory locations every day. Moreover, outsourcing provides the additional advantage of having an independent third party forming objective and impartial opinions free from internal interferences.
No action or inspection performed by API relieves the manufacturer from its obligation to deliver proper quality goods or to compensate the client for the delivery of poor products. Audits, inspections, loading checks, and sample picking and tests performed by API are simply part of the palette of quality tools at the purchaser’s disposal to exercise more control over the purchasing process and reduce the possibility of errors, misunderstandings, negligence or even fraud. The objective is to create an atmosphere of control which sends a clear message to all parties that products of proper quality level must be produced and shipped. API is a facilitator; we are neither a trading company, nor an agent.
API is simply a quality assurance solutions company, and as such it is our job to report and record what we see and to assist our clients in making decisions regarding whether to ship product or not. As we are often not present during loading of containers and we only take a statistical sampling of the total lot we cannot provide a 100% guarantee that the same goods were shipped, nor that the total lot size will meet the desired quality standards. We are simply there to reduce the possibility of future problems. Additionally there is a human factor involved. We strive to achieve consistency through continuous training. If there is a proof that API staff did not notice or document defects,and/ or safety issues over the course of the assembly checks or inspections we will refund the value of the inspection, and in cases of proven extreme oversight, up to ten times this sum. Any concerns that you may have regarding the performance of API staff should be brought to our attention immediately so that we can start a claim investigation which involves checking reference samples, shipment samples and all paperwork relating to the inspection to verify where mistakes occurred. Then we update our procedures and training to prevent any recurrence.