How to fix quality problems in China

How to fix quality problems in China

How to fix quality problems in China

Table of Contents

  • How to Avoid Falling into the Quality Fade Trap
  • Focus on avoiding Chabuduo
  • Use Inspections to identify Quality Issues
  • Building In Quality Rather than Inspecting It Out
  • So, over to you


How to fix quality problems in China – Over the years, many people have contacted me seeking my assistance to help them resolve a significant issue with an order. Or to help them fix a deterioration in the quality of goods they are receiving from their supplier in China.

Usually, their initial questions to me are:

  • Am I the victim of a scam?
  • Can I return the products back to the Supplier in China?
  • How do I get a refund of my money?
  • Can I quickly replace the defective products?


If you find yourself here, you need to consider a complete review of your quality checks and controls with the supplier. At TCI China, we have assisted our clients for almost 20 years in reviewing, redesigning and implementing their China quality control management processes. If, after reading below, you require any support, please do not hesitate to contact me.


How to Avoid Falling into the Quality Fade Trap

Quality fade is a term used to describe the slow, gradual degradation in an item’s quality over time. Chinese manufacturers often use this practice to increase their profit margins by lowering production costs.

Quality fade can occur in many different areas of a product, including:

  • A change in the dimensions of the product.
  • Incorrect or poor-quality raw materials are used to make the product.
  • There are many defects in the finish of the product.
  • The packaging becomes weak and unsuitable.
  • Products are easily damaged.
  • Order quantities are incorrect.
  • There are delays in the production timelines.

The critical long-term strategy to avoid this is to create a long term business relationship between your firm and the supplier in China. A long-term relationship with a supplier prevents them from looking for short term profit gains. Their focus will be on working to maintain continuous business with your organisation.



Focus on avoiding Chabuduo

Chabuduo is an attitude of accepting that almost good is an acceptable standard. It can be described as assuming that a product is finished when it is only 70% complete instead of 100% complete. This attitude is widespread across China culture and often creeps into factories’ work ethic.

There are several steps required to avoid becoming a victim of “Chabuduo” these are:

  • Only use high-quality, trustworthy suppliers who are proud of their business.
  • Provide clear communications with them of what you expect of them.
  • Create a detailed purchase contract which outlines all the standards and specifications that the products must meet.
  • Bring in third-party Inspection firms to conduct independent quality checks on the factory and products.


Use Inspections to identify Quality Issues.

Bringing in outside inspection firms such as Goodada Inspections to conduct independent checks on a factory’s goods is another vital element in fixing quality problems in China. There are three main categories of inspections that firms should consider using.

Product Review Inspection

Production Process Inspection

Prevention Inspections & Audits


Some of the critical inspections are:

Factory Audits. Today, it is very ineffective and costly to fly a person to inspect a factory in China. Often the results are what the factory wanted the person to see and not what is the actual situation with the factory. Therefore, hiring an inspection firm to conduct a Factory Audit help you to get detailed information both from what was found at the factory and any available government information. An Audit is designed to assist you in filtering out scammers and low-quality factories.

Product Inspections. As the saying goes, “it is better to find a fault on the factory floor rather than at your door”. With product inspections such as Pre-Shipment Inspections, you can have quality inspectors check the goods before they can be shipped out. It can reduce the risk of firms receiving poor quality or defective goods.


Building In Quality Rather than Inspecting It Out

There is an argument that inspections are very costly as they only advise that there are quality issues instead of helping fix quality issues. It is far better to find and prevent defects on the production line rather than trying to inspect faults out of the completed products.

Therefore the buyer should research and map out all steps, stages and tasks across the entire production process of their goods at a Supplier factory. They then need to identify the correct tools and training that all employees need to produce a quality product 100% of the time.

Then, the factory in China needs to be persuaded to see the benefits of this approach. Suggesting the potential saved costs such as scrapped products and a reduced need for inspections can encourage them to adopt this approach.


So, over to you

Are you receiving poor quality products from a supplier in China? Do you need to improve the quality control processes of the factories in China? Or you need advice on how to fix quality problems in China. Please do not hesitate to contact me.

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Or email me Aidan Conaty

Aidan Conaty | think China, think TCI