Remote monitoring your factory’s production

Final Inspection

At the very minimum is the final inspection which occurs after all manufacturing has finished and goods are packaged in boxes or sometimes prior to boxing when it is unlikely for errors to occur during boxing.

The hole is not centered on the lid. Minor, major or critical?

Production Samples

Before the final inspection you should consider asking the factory for production samples. There are types of production samples depending on when during the process they are pulled.

  1. Shipment Sample:
    This is a sample pulled during the peak or end of the manufacturing process and sent to you for approval. It allows you to see if the sample has deviated from the spec. As initial raw materials are used up and different raw materials are introduced, this allows you to see variations of the product with different raw materials.
  2. Top Of Production Sample:
    This is a sample pulled at the beginning of the manufacturing process and sent to you for approval. It is representative of the final product that ships and should use the the actual machinery and materials that will be used for manufacturing.
  3. Pre-Production Sample:
    This is a sample deliberately made (sometimes by a separate sampling team) before manufacturing begins and sent to you for approval. The factory may request that you approve it in writing and may hold up production until you approve it. If known deviations exist, the factory should note it down to let you know that they are aware of it. Care should be taken when reviewing this sample because it will implicitly be treated as a “Reference Sample” in future communications. Any variations in the final product will be measured against this reference sample, instead of the original sample you gave them. In their perspective, it is impossible to create something exactly like your original sample because of differences in machinery, materials and skills and therefore the fairest approach is to have the factory create something as best as they can, and if approved, to use that as the new standard.
Logo is printed upside down

In-line Inspection

While goods are being manufactured and with the factory’s permission, you may be allowed to enter the factory floor to inspect goods.

Time & Action Sheet

A common way to keep up with progress is to ask the factory to fill out a Time & Action sheet that has columns across the top for different stages of production and the factory fills out the dates for when that stage of production should begin and sometimes how many units (roughly) have exited that stage of production.

--

--

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store
Uncle Ming

Uncle Ming

A first generation immigrant with a background in manufacturing in Asia for big and small companies. Always on the go, but currently living in Saigon, Vietnam.