A quality analyst can often suggest an appropriate tolerance for the known defects for your product. But it is finally up to you as a buyer to specify your tolerance for any type of quality defect.

Often, importers list their tolerance and defect classification in a document known as the Quality Control, also called the QC checklist. A QC checklist typically includes various information such as on-site testing procedures, packaging requirements, and required inspection equipment.

This document should include a detailed list of common and known defects of quality with your type of product.

Although accounting for every single attribute defect is not possible, but the higher the list of potential defects that you provide, the more likely your supplier is to take into account your tolerance. Your quality inspection engineer is also more likely to apply the same standard when checking the products against a complete standard checklist.

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A faulty classification list looks like the example given below for shoes:

This kind of defect classification information may help in:

  • Improve the ability of your suppliers to correct and self-identify quality defects before the external inspection
  • Make sure more precise inspection results that match the tolerance and expectations of your quality.
  • Reduce any cases of “pending” results reported by the quality inspectors due to unclear quality tolerance

This defect classification list may include about 20 or 30 different types of defects that depend on your product type. The more information you can provide, the better your quality analyst team & supplier will be prepared.

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How to address quality defects with your products

Precisely identifying quality defects in the order before the shipment is crucial to ensure that your goods meet your customers’ expectations.

There are various third party inspection companies that can inspect your order and report to you the type and number of defects found in the sample size inspected. All their reports will usually show you the total defects, which are compared to the number of accepted defects based on the tolerance level.

If the number of defects exceeds the allowed number, the command will fail inspection. As you can see in the section given below, this command will fail inspection due to the number of defects which is smaller than the allowed number:

Although this command will fail inspection based on the AQL standard, it is up to you whether to ship that particular order or not. You may want to address any quality defects before approving shipment. In order to correct product defects found in your order during the entire inspection process, you can:

  • Ask the supplier to correct all issues related to quality through product production or repair of replacement goods
  • Re-inspection in order to fix or remove product defects
  • Chargeback the supplier for any re-inspection as well as quality issues if you have previously set this condition as part of the agreement with them
  • You can destroy any quality failed goods in order to prevent defective goods from reaching your clients through the gray market

And you should remember to continuously update the classifications of your defect in order to add new quality defects or to adjust your tolerance for new orders. Updating your quality checklist can help you prevent the recurrence of known quality defects in your received product shipments.