A factory audit is an on-site evaluation of a factory. The objective of a factory audit is to verify whether a manufacturer is able to make a specific order as per your requirements.
Therefore, a factory audit usually focusses on one specific product (category). For example, if you want to produce e-bikes, and you found a manufacturer that produces both electric skateboards and electric bikes. Then the auditor will focus on evaluating the manufacturer’s capability and capacity to produce your particular order of e-bikes.
During a factory audit, the auditor (this could be you, a colleague or a third-party professional auditor) will travel to the factory. Upon arrival, the auditor will collect information about the factory and work through a checklist of items that the factory should comply with.
Typically, this checklist is based on international standards and requirements set by you, the client. In the end, all findings of the factory audit are documented in a report to provide a detailed overview of the manufacturers’ capacity and capabilities.
A factory audit is an on-site evaluation of a factory. It provides valuable insight in the ability of a manufacturer to produce your order according to normative requirements. By providing a way to examine a factory’s organization, facility, quality systems and experience, a factory audit allows you to compare different manufacturers and determine the most appropriate one for your project.
Factory requirements may vary across different industries. For example, if you buy medical equipment, you need to make sure your manufacturer complies with strict rules and regulations. For clothing brands, on the other hand, it has become more and more important that the working conditions inside a factory are ethical. To cater to these needs, different types of factory audits exist, all with a specific focus area.
I have listed the three most common factory audits in China below:
The Initial Factory Evaluation is the most basic factory audit of the three. It focusses on general, but vitally important aspects of a manufacturer for the supplier selection process. The audit report typically includes, but is not limited to:
A Technical Quality Audit, or Quality System Audit, provides a more in-depth evaluation of the factory’s quality system, management techniques, equipment maintenance and document control. Based on the specific industry/product, different standards (checklists) may be applied. For example, AS9001 for the aerospace industry or ISO13485 for medical equipment.
By far, the most widely used standard to evaluate a Chinese manufacturer’s Quality Management System is ISO9001. Checking your manufacturer against this standard allows you to determine the strengths/weaknesses of the manufacturer. Above all, it gives you a clear view about the manufacturers’ capability to produce your order in time, on quality and at cost.
A Technical Quality Audit includes the same ‘basic’ information as the Initial Factory Evaluation. In addition, the auditor evaluates the factory’s:
A Social Compliance Audit (sometimes called Ethical Audit) focusses on a factory’s compliance with social, environmental and legal standards. A widely used standard to audit against is SA8000. Checking a factory against this standard allows you to determine whether the working conditions in that factory are ethical and in compliance with local law. This is imperative to protect your brand’s reputation.
A Social Compliance Audit includes the ‘basic’ information of an Initial Factory Evaluation. In addition, the auditor evaluates a factory’s:
A factory audit is an on-site evaluation of a factory. It allows you to verify whether a manufacturer can produce an order according to your requirements.
In this article, I outlined 3 common audits you can consider before placing an order:
An Initial Factory Evaluation might be most appropriate as a pre-audit to compare multiple suppliers on your shortlist. Or when you plan to work with a relatively small factory. However, if your order will be of considerable size, I would always go for a more in-depth evaluation of the factory.
Article souce: https://chinatradeblog.org/factory-audit-introduction/
Your dedicated sourcing manager that you can hire whenever you need to
Phone: +64 21 776 117
In the world of importing products from Asia, one essential aspect often proves to be a major challenge for small and medium-sized businesses in New Zealand: supplier negotiations. Establishing strong relationships with overseas manufacturers is crucial for the successful execution of international trade, but it requires a deep understanding of cultural differences, communication norms, and negotiation tactics.
Product sourcing from Vietnam has emerged as a popular option for importers across the world, thanks to the country's rapid industrialisation and manufacturing growth. Vietnam boasts a thriving mix of local and foreign suppliers, offering a diverse range of cost-effective products and a surge in foreign direct investment.