Chapter 20 – Observations About Quality Control

In chapter 16 you learned considerably about the factory’s QC department and how important it is that they take it very seriously. Now that you are near the end of your factory tour it is time to further evaluate if QC is performing as required.

Ask to speak to a QC inspector and ask them what is done when a defect is found. The inspector should show you that they log the defect in a control book. Ask to see the book. When you look at the book you may find out that the same defect occurs repeatedly and all that happens is they continue to document it without taking corrective action.

A proactive QC management would take immediate action to find out which person continues to make the same mistake and what the reason for it is. It could be that the worker has not been trained sufficiently or is unaware of the problem or does not know how to solve it.

Only after the defect’s cause is eliminated will production flow smoothly. Not only does quality improve but the factory’s costs go down also because they no longer have to rework or scrap parts. Therefore, it is in the factory’s best interest to take immediate action and this can be only achieved with the help of a well-trained and educated QC staff.

Other general observations to look for in the QC staff are their assigned workstations in the factory:

  • Working directly beside the conveyor belt overseeing the workers
  • Working directly beside the main packing area inspecting the finished goods immediately before final packaging
  • In the production areas conducting quality tests at different stages of the production process
  • In the QC room performing various quality controls best conducted there

If you only find an inspector at the end of the conveyor belt, they better have a large scrap bin handy because the factory is likely producing a lot of junk. You had better hope it is not going into the final packaging. QC inspectors are valuable employees. They need years of working experience to become qualified and cannot be easily replaced.