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.
We analyzed years of our factory audit data and found that they have a proven predictive ability on the ability of the factory to make products at an acceptable level of quality (learn more).
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 Organization||Process Overview||Quality Systems Audit||Social Compliance Audit||Compliance With Law||Personal Safety & Work Enviromnent Overview||Factory & Licenses Pictures|
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)
Quality System Audit (QSA)
Blended Systems Audit (BSA)
Social Compliance Audit (SCA)
Factory Visit (Stealth Audit)
Here are some additional resources about factory audits to help you learn more...
China business expert Prof. Neale O’Connor and his team analyzed hundreds of our factory audits’ data (in late 2022) and determined a direct causal link between a factory getting a good factory audit score and subsequently providing better quality products.
You can learn more about this research and its findings in this video presentation:
Aside from the factory audits on this page, before discussing product details and requesting quotations, it’s also recommended that you:
- Perform a supplier background check on the company you’re going to buy from to protect yourself from scammers or bad partners.
- Do your due diligence with a 360-Degree Product Risk Assessment on the product/s (or component/s) that are already developed (or being developed) to be sure they won’t lead to costly safety issues or recalls later on.
Follow this flowchart to determine which audit you need and then select it from the list on this page to get a quotation:
This flowchart explains our typical 5-step process when auditing your supplier once you have booked your audit:
PMA (Process Management Audit)
If a factory says their processes are mature and under control, in a PMA 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.
Since the covid pandemic importers are increasingly taking advantage of remote audits due to lack of access to their suppliers. These audits provide you with a solid level of understanding of a supplier’s capabilities and processes via document checks, phone calls, and video tours of the facility, without needing to be on-site.
They may also be used as a quick and convenient method of assessing current suppliers and following up on corrective actions.
Production Readiness Review
Sofeast supports you to have the peace of mind that everything is running well and ready for mass production by performing this production readiness review during the pilot run or the production of the first batch at your supplier’s factory before you give the green light to release large amounts of materials into manufacturing.
This allows you to go into mass production knowing that risks are low, rather than solely relying on your supplier’s assurances that may not be based on facts.
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.
Learn more by reading these factory audit resources and blog posts from Sofeast and QualityInspection.org.
- How Do Factory Audits Work In China? – [Infographic]
- A Factory Audit On A Small Factory. Worth It?
- Why Social Compliance Audits Often Don’t Work, But Can
- How Factory Audits, Inspections, and Lab Tests Fit Together
- The Real Purpose of Factory Audits? Evaluate and Prevent Risks.
- What a Social Auditor Should Check in Chinese Factories
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.