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Product quality

Learn about our quality inspection process for both international and local suppliers.

Updated over a week ago

What is your quality inspection process?

Our quality inspection process is made up of two parts:

1. Vetting

We vet every supplier we work with. This includes vetting for product quality as well as labour conditions, sustainability, legal compliance and more. We then visit every supplier in person to verify their manufacturing site also meets our standards. This vetting creates accountability and helps build trust and transparency. To maintain these standards, we review each supplier's operations annually.

2. Quality control

Every order from our suppliers undergoes a quality inspection process before it's shipped. You can learn more about the processes below. Any order that fails quality inspection is returned to the manufacturer or reproduced immediately. Quality control establishes standards and helps ensure they're met.

International quality inspection

For products manufactured internationally, a local Sourceful team performs the quality inspection process. Here's a breakdown of the process:

1. Opening meeting: Sourceful meets with the supplier's quality representatives to ensure they understand the process and standards.

2. Quantity check: Sourceful verifies inspection quantity against shipment or purchase order (PO) quantity.

3. Colour and material check: Sourceful verifies colour discrepancy of production order against approved materials. Materials, flute type and direction etc. are verified against the approved design file and the latest sample report.

4. Quality check: Sourceful inspects sample units and dimensions against product brief and approved samples. A fit and rattle test is part of this inspection.

5. Protective packaging and labelling check:

  • Sourceful inspects protective packaging. This is usually conducted on the first order of a shipment to ensure there's sufficient packaging for the product.

  • Sourceful checks that all labels are correct and follow any freight requirements.

6. Final inspection: Sourceful uses the Acceptable Quality Limit (AQL) method defined by ISO standards in ISO 2859-1. This standard defines the number of samples to be inspected in a given order and the acceptable quality levels (also known as defects). By inspecting a random sample using AQL, it's possible to determine an order's overall quality.

  • Major: a defect that results in the product:

    • being harmful to the end user.

    • not complying with regulations.

    • not functioning as required.

    • having a significant visual deviation from the brief.

  • Minor: a defect that results in the product:

    • deviating slightly from the functional and/or visual spec outlined in the brief.

Note: minor defects don’t affect the usability or safety of the product, but could lead to a customer complaint.

7. Final report: the final report determines if an order can be shipped. There are two outcomes to the report, “Passed" or “Pending".

  • Passed: Sourceful arranges shipment.

  • Pending: Sourceful informs supplier and discusses re-production or handling.

UK quality inspection

For products manufactured in the UK, our suppliers perform the quality inspection process which we then verify through spot checks. Here’s a breakdown of the process:

  1. Opening meeting: Sourceful meets with the supplier's quality representatives to ensure their process, standards and inspection checklist align with ours.

  2. Process review: Sourceful reviews and verifies the supplier's quality inspection process.

  3. Product sampling: Sourceful performs spot checks on the supplier’s products from each order throughout the year. These include quantity, colour and material, packaging and labelling and quality checks. You can learn more about these checks above.

Note: From every order, we reserve and store a percentage of units that allow us to perform quality checks in case of a complaint. This helps ensure production errors can be identified and resolved quickly. Occasionally, we also send products for independent testing which helps us avoid unconscious bias and improve our own quality inspection process.

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