Is Manufacturing Really Back on Track in China?

By The Pro QC Quality Assurance Team

As things slowly get back to normal around the world, everyone is starting to ramp up their production – with manufacturing in China leading the pack in being back online. But how do you know how much of it is genuinely fully operational?

Pro QC has seen demand for quality control services in China coming in heavy, with demand largely from the United States, South America and Europe. Communication devices, medical products, and even furniture are topping the list for quality solutions in China. This has led to an uptick in demand for new suppliers as well as a need to check on whether existing suppliers are truly functional.

The on-the-ground realities can be difficult to assess, with international travel curbs still largely in place. Also, in some parts of China we are still seeing restricted entry into factories if they have had confirmed cases of COVID-19 amongst the work force. This was the case recently for a factory in Shanghai where we were to support a production transition from one factory in China to another. Our staff were not allowed to enter the factory to conduct a supplier audit due to two past cases of COVID-19 in that specific factory.

The positive side is that most factories have been able to get core staff to return to work post pandemic, and raw materials are being stockpiled by many manufacturers, in the event of another halt to the global supply chain. However, the negative is that demand is skewed at the moment – while products such as blood glucose meters are in such great demand that suppliers are having to keep workers on overtime shifts in order to be able to complete orders, other suppliers, such as those who manufacture toys and textiles, are finding that business has almost ground to a halt with falling demand.

All this means is that it is now even more important to consider an initial supplier evaluation or comprehensive factory audit for new and existing suppliers in China. This will ensure that your chosen factory meets global quality standards and is indeed fully equipped to handle your orders. The danger is that factories who are not verified to produce certain goods will try to do so, and it is important to weed the fraudulent suppliers out at as quickly as possible.

Pro QC launched a special one-day Initial Supplier Verification service a couple of months ago, to help mitigate any risk on behalf of customers looking to engage factories for production. The service is a cost-effective way of evaluating suppliers through both a general assessment of the factory’s operations and a focused assessment of the factory’s ability to manufacture your product to global standards.

Given the recent uncertainty, Pro QC also understands the need to be able to perform remote audits where absolutely necessary – although these present limitations, it is a way of ensuring we are still able to help you with your supplier audit even in those urgent situations.

Learn more about our Initial Supplier Verification service at https://proqc.com/services/factory-supplier-audits/initial-supplier-evaluation-program/