Quality Control
& Inspection


Before: When you buy a product online, you’re putting your trust in the vendor. You want to know that you’re getting exactly what’s listed on eBay or Amazon. And while most vendors are trustworthy, sometimes the wrong item ends up in your mailbox or it isn’t shipped at all! That’s why you need YiQi.

After: YiQi is a company that personally inspects each product before shipping so you can be sure of what you’re buying and who you’re buying from. Our highly trained inspectors will analyze every aspect of any product before we decide whether to ship it out to our customers.

STEP 1:Background checks

You want to avoid scammers who will run away with your deposit, but also manufacturers who told you lies about their size, trading companies that pretend to own a factory, and so on. If possible, ask potential suppliers for customer references. Ideally, you could talk to one or two such customers on the phone. Ask them how long they have been working with that manufacturer, and ask them to identify the supplier’s strengths and weaknesses. This is a particularly subtle part of the verification process, for two reasons:

  1. Many of these references will be fake. Or maybe they did produce for Disney, but 3 years ago and through another factory that subcontracted the job out to them.
  2. Many legitimate manufacturers will refuse to communicate the contact information of any customer, for fear that you work for one of their competitors. Another approach that works well is to call… the supplier salespeople themselves! We have found that they lie much less on the phone than in emails. And they tend to simply hang up the phone — or become aggressive — when they are asked questions they are not comfortable answering.
Preform supplier operations and history inspection
Run online validation of supplier documentation and bank records

STEP 2 : Factory visits

At the entrance of every trade show in China and Hong Kong, the organizer should have a notice warning visitors of the following:

  • Do NOT believe the facts and photos shown on brochures.
  • Do NOT give importance to ISO 9001 certifications.
  • Do NOT trust what salespeople tell you without checking it.

For an order of 2,000 USD, I can understand why you wouldn’t spend time visiting the factory. But, for large orders, failing to verify the manufacturer’s claims is asking for trouble. If you visit the factory by yourself, your hosts will try to impress you. Instead, use your eyes and try to grasp the situation and understand the overall environment. If you can’t visit the factory by yourself, a solution is to pay a quality assurance agency for a quality audit. Companies like ours have auditors in the main manufacturing areas and do this type of mission routinely for importers.

STEP 3 : Face-to-face meetings

Let’s say you took the time to visit the factory. Should you rush through the visit in 2 hours, and try to visit 2-3 factories in a day?

If you have found a factory that seems to be a good fit for you, you need to spend time there. You need to get to know them, and vice versa. Business is often done around a dinner table. Let’s say you have a problem down the road, and you only know the salesperson who handles your account.

So, the first reason for socializing is the need to know a few more people from the factory and the second reason is to gather information. In an informal setting such as a dinner, try to ask a few questions to gauge the owner’s long-term commitment to his company. If he mentions he is investing heavily in real estate, this is not a good sign.

YIQI Logistics Manager with CFO of Yanmie Electronic Co., At shanghai Free Trade zone after signing contract