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QCâ¦In-house vs. Outsource

Published: 22 May 2013 23:55:50 PST

A question that came up from my customer (a European brand who is producing in China) today is “why should we hire you as opposed to hiring a local guy ourselves?” The answer is: sometimes it IS a good idea to have someone here locally, and sometimes that does alleviate the need to hire as much 3rd party QC. There are positives and negatives to both situations:

Outsource QC to a 3rd Party QC Company

Positives

1. Opportunity to work with management and trained staff who specialize in checking product, factories and production in Asia

2. Can capitalize on the acquired knowledge of a QC company who has checked various different products and understands how factories in Asia attempt to “short-cut” and cheapen products for which a standard has already been established

3. Ease and economic value of having staff contracted on a “per-use” basis, with short notice

Negatives

1. On a “per-use” basis you may find that the cost of using a 3rd party QC company is higher than hiring one of your own local staff

2. May be difficult to get a 3rd party QC company (not all, but some) to get highly specialized and focused on your product line the way an internal staff could be

Hiring Your Own Local Staff

Positives

1. Generally will provide you a lower cost option on a per-inspection basis than working with a 3rd party QC company (especially if you were to be doing 20+ inspections in Asia per month)

2. This person may be trained to handle functions outside of QC, such as price negotiation and other sourcing functions, which a 3rd party QC company will not get involved in

3. Opportunity to develop long-term relationship with a single individual which could be a strategic to your long term sourcing solution

Negatives

1. Generally difficult to find and train a single individual in the quality control function, who has not worked in a structured QC company previously – even more difficult from a remote location

2. Higher likelihood that such an individual will be bribed by a factory to pass unacceptable goods (a major issue in the QC industry) –no company structure to provide a moral framework and no cooperate measures in place to prevent unethical behavior

3. Difficult to keep a low-cost employee employed remotely and on a “per-use” basis, which is often how QC is needed by your company

About

Andrew Reich has worked in the quality control industry, primarily in Mainland China, for over 12 years, and has mainly worked with factories which supply the USA market. His fluency in Chinese, both spoken and written, has enhanced his ability to develop and maintain successful business relationships. From 2003-2005, while with QCS (Quality Control Services), Andrew played a major role in the development of the C-TPAT (Customs Trade Partnership Against Terrorism) program, auditing of over 350 factories throughout China and the Pacific Rim for major US retailers.. From 2005-2008, while with Lapine Associates, Andrew set-up and acted as chief representative for Lapine's China based representative office. Andrew managed and expanded quality control and sourcing teams both in China and the USA, while coordinating the activities of trading partners and testing laboratories in Taiwan, Hong Kong, and throughout North America. Andrew is an avid tennis player, snowboarder and photographer and resides full time in Shenzhen, China.

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