Why do you need quality assurance – External Partners

This article is a sequel to the previous article on “Why do you need quality assurance – Internal Organization“.

It is essential to empower external Quality Assurance (QA) to look after your best interests, be proactive and provide regular reviews at all stages of the order: 

  • Tech packs
  • Receiving of fabrics and trims
  • Cutting and bundling of the product
  • Sewing
  • Packing of the garments
  • Shipping and logistics

You want to know if your external partners are on top of your product and company needs. Are they accountable, dependable, and transparent with high levels of integrity?

External Partners

Who are some of the players involved outside of your company? 

  • Your supplier
    • The boss
    • Merchandisers
    • Quality Control
  • The factory
    • The owner
    • The factory manager
    • The factory floor manager
    • Receiving department
      • Product control
      • Product verification
    • Merchandisers
    • Quality Assurance
    • Quality Control
    • Cutting room
    • Bundling/Allocation
    • Sewing line manager
    • The sewer
    • Sewing line QC
    • Trimming
    • Decoration
    • Ironing/Pressing
    • Packing
    • Shipping department
  • 3rd Party outsourced
    • Managers
    • Sales
    • Quality Control

Does the external team have clarity about your objectives, policies, processes, procedures, and manuals?

What is the suppliers internal structure? Have you reviewed your supplier’s systems, documents, forms, and structure?

Factory Floor Work Book and Physical Sample

How do they work with your internal QA and QC teams?  Are they independent or do they report back to your staff? Who is responsible for addressing minor and major issues?

It is very important to provide your external team with thorough “Training”; compliance, policies, procedures, and your expectations for all the products they produce.  

Process Review

As you look at the internal organization and external partners, you have more clarity on everyone’s roles and responsibilities. Which helps with the creation of calendars and timelines to ensure your company products arrive as scheduled, to your quality standards, at the price you are willing to pay.

It is essential to validate, vet, and qualify your supplier and factories consistently and constantly. How frequently is this done?  Who is in charge of ensuring this is done properly?

Do you have established policies to double check the work done by your external partners?    Does your company use report cards?  What happens at your company when a supplier violates your policies, procedures, ethics, and/or compliance?  

Is someone at your company responsible for a performance assessment of the prospect vendor? Looking at past business history, quality, on-time deliveries, and conducting a SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats) analysis of the business?  

Training, do you or your company provide ongoing training to external employees, partners, suppliers, and factories?   How frequent is this training, bi-weekly, weekly, monthly, quarterly, bi-yearly, or yearly?   Do you provide training manuals?  Do you have regular tests and report cards? 

The above is a fraction of what is needed to ensure your product arrives as per the technical specification and approved samples.  I am a big believer that it is better to be proactive instead of being reactive. 

As proactive you are planning for the future, asking yourself what could go wrong, and following up and through to ensure nothing goes sideways or south.  

A reactive person or company is always fixing the problems and is never planning for the future.

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