If you are afraid of working with suppliers who can’t deliver as promised, a factory audit helps you to evaluate their reliability, capabilities and highlights key risks that might prevent them from meeting your needs, allowing you to make an informed decision on whether to work with them or not.

A successful production partner is a key part of your business. If they let you down, then your reputation, profits, and business take a hit.

Conducting a manufacturer audit like this before and during your cooperation with a supplier in China and elsewhere in Asia will not only help to make sure that they are the right partner, but also that they are capable of maintaining the standards that you require over time.

Factory Audit Solutions Overview

This is an overview of each factory audit that we offer. You can choose the one(s) you feel are most aligned with your needs, or discuss them with us and get our recommendation.

 General OrganizationProcess OverviewQuality Systems AuditSocial Compliance AuditCompliance With LawPersonal Safety & Work Enviromnent OverviewFactory & Licenses Pictures
IFEBrief Overview
TQA
TSAOverview Only
SCA

You can also explore how factory audits in China work in this infographic

Learn More About Each Factory Audit And Get A Quote

Hit the blue buttons below to read more each factory audit and request a quotation if you’d like to get pricing for your project.

initial factory evaluation (IFE) audit

Initial Factory Evaluation (IFE)

Solution cost 279 USD per man-day Get a quote
 
What is the IFE?
Sofeast’s auditor qualifies or disqualifies a potential supplier based on their manufacturing capabilities before you start working with them. We also evaluate risks associated with potential suppliers, such as: Non-existent quality system, no maintenance, inadequate equipment, incorrect or false information given, etc.

Why choose an IFE?
Any importer should conduct an IFE factory audit as ‘due diligence’ on a potential new supplier, or to assure that a current supplier is improving. This audit reduces the risk of you working with a supplier who, ultimately, cannot get your job done at the cost, quality, and within the timescale, you’re expecting.

What type of factory should an IFE be performed on?

Typically an IFE is best suited for smaller factories of less than 400 staff, as they tend to have less complex quality systems to check.

For larger factories, an IFE is also relevant, although you may choose to undertake more technical audits, such as a technical and quality audit, instead.

What is in an IFE report?
- Factory profile.
- Detailed staff count.
- Products currently produced.
- Observation of one production line (process steps, type and number of machines).
- Overview of the general organization (quality system, working environment, and equipment condition).
- Photos of the factory building, the production workshop, the warehouse, the office area.
- Photos of business license, export license, and any certificates.

How much does it cost?
We charge 279 USD per man-day in major areas of China (and extra travel expenses apply in other places).

Does this pricing include 1 day on site?
Yes. Many of our clients don’t want to spend more than 1 day on the audit, and it makes sense even for fairly large manufacturing facilities, assuming:
  • It is simply a second-party audit to have a relatively good idea of the maturity of a factory’s systems.
  • The client tells us what product type they will buy, so that our auditor focuses only on 1 area in the workshops etc. rather than looking at all processes and all areas.
  • We only audit one facility (at the address provided).
  • Ready to get started with your initial factory evaluation?

    Click here to get a quotation for your IFE
    Technical quality audit (TQA)

    Technical Quality Audit (TQA)

    Solution cost 495 USD per man-day Get a quote
     
    What is the TQA?
    Sofeast’s most popular China factory audit! One of our auditors qualifies a potential supplier based on their manufacturing capabilities and quality system (key requirements from ISO 9001) before you start working with them, or to assure that current suppliers are improving over time. It confirms that their organization and quality system is in place and effective.

    Why choose a TQA?
    This factory audit will allow you to avoid giving large orders to factories which just don’t have the capacity to handle them or produce at a consistent quality level, thereby avoiding wasted time and money.

    What type of factory should a TQA be performed on?
    Any size of a factory you are considering working with where an understanding of whether their manufacturing organization and quality processes are what they claim them to be. Note that we typically focus on a few processes, only for 1 product that you intend to purchase.

    What is in a TQA report?
    - Factory profile.
    - Detailed staff count.
    - Products currently produced.
    - Observation of one production line (process steps, type and number of machines).
    - Capacity evaluation for one line that makes a product close to yours.
    - Audit of the entire quality system (supplier qualification, internal QC activities, use of data for fixing issues, work instructions...).
    - Overview of personal safety issues.
    - Photos of the factory building, the production workshop, the warehouse, the office area.
    - Photos of business license, export license, and any certificates.

    How much does it cost?
    We charge 495 USD per man-day in the areas close to our auditors in China (and extra travel expenses apply in other places).
    We can offer this solution in other Asian countries too: Quotation on demand, with help from local partners.

    Does this pricing include 1 day on site?
    Yes. Many of our clients don’t want to spend more than 1 day on the audit, and it makes sense even for fairly large manufacturing facilities, assuming:
  • It is simply a second-party audit to have a relatively good idea of the maturity of a factory’s systems.
  • The client tells us what product type they will buy, so that our auditor focuses only on 1 area in the workshops etc. rather than looking at all processes and all areas.
  • We only audit one facility (at the address provided).
  • Ready to get started with your technical quality audit?

    Click here to get a quotation for your TQA
    Technical and social audit (TSA)

    Technical & Social Audit (TSA)

    Solution cost 495 USD per man-day Get a quote
     
    What is the TSA?
    A TSA is a great factory audit to choose when assuring a factory’s reliability is key, but when you also need to know that they have policies in place to be socially compliant.
    Sofeast’s auditor qualifies a potential supplier based on their capabilities and their compliance with social, safety, and environmental standards before you start working with them, or assures that current suppliers are improving over time.

    Why choose a TSA?
    This audit protects your business reputation as it allows you to avoid suppliers who are particularly unreliable and who don’t employ their workers in generally acceptable conditions.

    What type of factory should a TSA be performed on?
    Any size of a factory you are considering working with. Note that we typically focus on a few processes, only for 1 product that you intend to purchase.

    What is in a TSA report?
    - Factory profile.
    - Detailed staff count.
    - Products currently produced.
    - Observation of one production line (process steps, type and number of machines).
    - Capacity evaluation for one line that makes a product close to yours.
    - A brief audit of the quality system.
    - A brief audit of social policy: child labour, forced labour, number of hours worked (with random interviews).
    - A brief audit of safety policy: fire prevention, evacuation plan, chemical hazards, protective equipment.
    - A quick assessment of environment policy: waste disposal, energy-efficient equipment.
    - Photos of the factory building, the production workshop, the warehouse, the office area.
    - Photos of business license, export license, and any certificates.

    How much does it cost?
    We charge 495 USD per man-day in the areas close to our auditors in China (and extra travel expenses apply in other places). We can offer this solution in other Asian countries too: Quotation on demand, with help from local partners.

    Does this pricing include 1 day on site?
    Yes. Many of our clients don’t want to spend more than 1 day on the audit, and it makes sense even for fairly large manufacturing facilities, assuming:
  • It is simply a second-party audit to have a relatively good idea of the maturity of a factory’s systems.
  • The client tells us what product type they will buy, so that our auditor focuses only on 1 area in the workshops etc. rather than looking at all processes and all areas.
  • We only audit one facility (at the address provided).
  • Ready to get started with your technical and social audit?

    Click here to get a quotation for your TSA
    Social compliance audit (SCA)

    Social Compliance Audit (SCA)

    Solution cost 495 USD per man-day Get a quote
     
    What is the SCA?
    This factory audit focuses on safety, respect of the environment, and legal compliance. Sofeast’s auditor qualifies a potential supplier based on its compliance to social (close to SA 8000 + local law), safety, and environmental standards before you start working with them, or to assure that current suppliers are improving over time.
    Note that, if you need to have a factory pass a retailer’s formal audit in order to win business, we can use that retailer’s requirements to assess the current status of that factory and suggest a course of action.

    Why choose an SCA?
    An SCA factory audit protects your business reputation as it allows you to avoid suppliers who don’t employ their workers and/or run their operations in generally acceptable conditions.
    This audit will allow you to pinpoint sustainability risks in your supply chain, and is typically the start of an improvement plan.

    What type of factory should an SCA be performed on?
    Any size of a factory you are considering working with. Note that we typically focus on a few processes, only for 1 product that you intend to purchase.

    What is in an SCA report?
    - Factory profile.
    - Detailed staff count.
    - Products currently produced.
    - Observation of one production line (process steps, type and number of machines).
    - Capacity evaluation for one line that makes a product close to yours.
    - A very brief overview of the quality system.
    - Audit of their social practices: Child labour, forced labour, number of hours worked (with random interviews).
    - Evaluation of health and safety in workshops, canteens, and dormitories used by workers.
    - Deep audit of safety policy: fire prevention, evacuation plan, chemical hazards, protective equipment.
    - Quick assessment of environment policy: waste disposal, energy-efficient equipment.
    - Photos of the factory building, the production workshop, the warehouse, the office area, and canteens and dormitories used by workers.
    - Photos of business license, export license, and any certificates.

    How much does it cost?
    We charge 495 USD per man-day in the areas close to our auditors in China (and extra travel expenses apply in other places).
    We can offer this solution in other Asian countries too: Quotation on demand, with help from local partners.

    Does this pricing include 1 day on site?
    Yes. Many of our clients don’t want to spend more than 1 day on the audit, and it makes sense even for fairly large manufacturing facilities, assuming:
  • It is simply a second-party audit to have a relatively good idea of the maturity of a factory’s systems.
  • The client tells us what product type they will buy, so that our auditor focuses only on 1 area in the workshops etc. rather than looking at all processes and all areas.
  • We only audit one facility (at the address provided).
  • Ready to get started with your social compliance audit?

    Click here to get a quotation for your SCA

    Go back and check each factory audit by hitting the option below that interests you.




    Identifying the gaps in systems & processes is good. But how to help a factory improve?

    You are not alone. We can help you. Depending on the factory’s level of cooperation and abilities, and depending on the types of issues we have identified, we can suggest the next steps.

    Here are common approaches:

    • Requesting corrective action plans for the most severe issues, then reviewing them and following up until (hopefully) closure. For the most complex issues, we follow the 8D Format.
    • Sending engineers to help the factory with a process FMEA, setting up a control plan, and other forms of consulting. Check this out here: Quality Assurance Consulting.
    • Checking if some of their promised improvements are really implemented, and doing so with a regular routine, for example at the time of the pre-production meeting.
    • An annual re-audit program, to keep some pressure on the factory to drive improvement. For this, you may implement a layered process audit program where our auditor re-audits your supplier’s processes and quality systems by focusing on one key aspect per month.

    You may also like this other audit we provide

    Technical Process Audit (TPA)

    If a factory says their processes are mature and under control, in a TPA audit our auditor, experienced in the process/es in question, goes on-site to check the technical aspects of production in detail and to comment on them (and less on the more traditional “quality management system” aspects covered by other factory audits).

    This helps you assure that the factory has the systems and processes to deliver great quality and on-time shipments.

    Additional Factory Audit Resources

    Learn more by reading these factory audit resources and blog posts from Sofeast and QualityInspection.org.

    Remember, if you’re interested in a factory audit, but you’re not sure about something, you can always arrange a free phone consultation with us where we can discuss your situation and work out together if you need audits and what kind would be best.

    Get answers to several common questions about factory audits by reading our FAQS:

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