Manufacturing Quality Assurance in the USA

By The Pro QC Quality Assurance Team

According to the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM), manufacturing in the United States accounted for 11.39% of total economic output in 2019. The United Nations Statistics Division places the USA in second place, after China, as the second largest manufacturer in the world – producing approximately 16.6% of the world’s total production.

Key manufacturing sectors in the United States including chemicals, computer and electronic parts, food, beverage and tobacco, motor vehicles and parts, fabricated metals, machinery, aerospace and transportation equipment, petroleum and coal, plastics and rubber products.

Manufacturing in the USA

Manufacturing output in the US has been steadily growing since 2009 with a number of American manufacturers reshoring their production from lower-cost countries. The benefits of being back on American soil include tax benefits and pro-business incentives, workforce development, and the cost advantages of automated technologies, greater control over intellectual property for products, as well as a shorter supply-chain – as goods can then reach customers much more quickly.

However, one of the biggest advantages of manufacturing in the USA is having a quantifiable quality measure. Sourcing and producing locally ensure that product quality risks are reduced; production inspection on-site is able to take place faster and local communication can be more effective in resolving any issues immediately.

There are also disadvantages to manufacturing in the United States – higher costs all-round – including higher wages for skilled factory labour, a limited number of specifically skilled workers, and fewer factories available for production.

But recent events, such as the US-China Trade War and the heavy impact on global supply chains as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, have encouraged many companies to consider relocating their manufacturing to the United States. One of the considerations they then have, is that of quality control services in the USA.

Factory audits and product inspections are an integral part of the manufacturing process anywhere in the world.

How do you ensure product quality and compliance in the USA?

It is important to start considering product quality at an early stage in the manufacturing process, in order to avoid risks and additional costs when something goes wrong.

Pro QC has a simple checklist of solutions to ensure product quality:

  1. Ensure your supplier is reliable and understands your manufacturing requirements
    a. Visit the factory, meet your supplier.
    b. Factory audit: quality management system, equipment and machines, documentation, quality control, storage.
  2. Develop your product specifications
  3. Order product test samples before you place your order
  4. Ensure the final contract and production order has quality assurance clauses
  5. Quality control: conduct inspections at the beginning of production, during, and/or before product shipment

Pro QC assists organizations in identifying new suppliers in markets around the world. If you need manufacturing support in the USA, Pro QC is a third-party quality assurance provider that can also help support you with quality solutions through our vast network across the United States.