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Get regular expert information, quality advice and tips, and household goods industry news from API.

Heavy Metals Testing in Toys: Complying With EN 71-3 and ASTM F963-17

Posted by François Deudon on 27 Mar 2018

Heavy metals testing in toys and safety requirements have become increasingly stringent in recent years, and with due cause: 29% of recalls in 2016/2017 were due to chemical hazards alone. The onus lies on manufacturers and importers to comply with safety standards, ensuring that toys are manufactured according to the latest specifications. In this post we look at the new updates for toy safety regulations, the tests to be performed to meet the new safety specifications, as well as the steps you should take to avoiding heavy metal migration in toys and preventing future quality issues.

Topics: Toys

8 Steps To Limit Risk in Your Toy Testing Procedures

Posted by API - Customized Quality Assurance on 2 Mar 2018

Production competitiveness has become so high in countries like China that suppliers often find ways to cut corners in order to save costs, often putting the quality and safety of your toys, and their extremely vulnerable user base, in jeopardy. When it comes to upholding product safety and compliance, no other consumer goods product is more highly regulated than toys. However, despite stringent requirements and mandatory safety toy testing around the world, unsafe children’s products continue to reach the market today.

Topics: Compliance, Testing, Toys

5 Global Sourcing Challenges Hardlines Retailers Will Face in 2018

Posted by API - Customized Quality Assurance on 27 Dec 2017

Procurement used to manage vendors and negotiate costs. In today's global sourcing landscape, it’s about so much more; it’s about effectively managing risk, ensuring sustainability, all to the ends of creating a strategic competitive advantage for your brand.

Topics: Supply Chain Management, Global Sourcing

Humans, Robots & Supply Chain Automation: How To Embrace The Change

Posted by API - Customized Quality Assurance on 22 Dec 2017

The rise of things like Blockchain, IoT (internet of things), cryptocurrencies and robots and automation have all been defining disruptors for the retail supply chain over the last few years.

How are supply chains across the globe currently being impacted by the rise of these disruptors?

Are human jobs at risk?

How can your business adapt to utilise these new technologies? 

Answers to all of these questions and more as we take a look into the 'Four Industrial Revolution' of modern-day commerce.

Topics: Automation

Case Study: Behind The Scenes Of A New CQI Strategy Roll-Out

Posted by API - Customized Quality Assurance on 21 Dec 2017

A CQI strategy should be adopted to provide you with a road map toward improvement of your supply chain activities. It should be designed in such a way that takes your retail brand through the process of data collection, data analysis and a continuous cycle of monitoring of activities for efficiency.

Topics: Quality Assurance Systems, Quality Management Systems

Does Your Retail Brand Have A CQI Strategy For The Festive Season?

Posted by API - Customized Quality Assurance on 8 Dec 2017

The festive season is fast approaching and retail stores the world over are seeing an influx of people coming through their doors to purchase essential and luxury items. This time of the year is a very busy (and lucrative) time for most retail businesses, but it also presents an increase in supply chain pressure and demand that can lead to unsatisfied customers if quality becomes an issue.

Topics: Quality Management Systems

Why Every Company Should Use Environmental Auditing

Posted by API - Customized Quality Assurance on 16 Nov 2017

Manufacturing in the 21st Century has brought about some ugly truths about the way in which many retail brands produced their products, from the amount of CO2 emissions released to the way in which manufacturers dispose of waste. Today, environmental auditing is not a mandatory practice for retail brands, so is it even necessary? 

Topics: Quality Assurance Systems, Quality Management Systems, Quality Audit

2 Root Cause Analysis Techniques For An Improved Quality Audit

Posted by API - Customized Quality Assurance on 15 Nov 2017

As a RCA is a continuous improvement strategy used to identify the drivers of a problem, it serves the purpose of eliminating that problem from ever recurring again!

Topics: Quality Assurance Systems

A Factory Quality Audit Checklist To Ease Supplier Selection

Posted by API - Customized Quality Assurance on 9 Nov 2017

Household goods manufacturing and supply chain operations are often vulnerable to compliance and regulation violations.

With the pace at which the many complex parts of a supply chain can move, it's no wonder that retailers who trust too willingly in their suppliers can land up in hot water when things don't go according to plan.

The only way to address these challenges head on is by conducting a quality audit.

Discover our factory quality audit checklist that touches on quality management, social and environmental compliance here.

Topics: Quality Management Systems, Quality Audit

3 Types of Factory Quality Audits Your Retail Brand Needs Today

Posted by API - Customized Quality Assurance on 8 Nov 2017

Many retail brands today are littered with non-compliance, human rights and environmental violations. These organisations find themselves at a loss on how to handle this kind of supply chain complexity risk.

Topics: Quality Management Systems