3 Most Common Mistakes in Quality Control Checklist

Quality Control Checklist

Mistakes on the quality control checklist happen when you fail to indicate some important quality control measures assuming that the supplier is aware. It also happens when you expect the inspector to report on certain defects but fail to include it in the quality control checklist. The result is that the unusable goods will end up in your customer’s doorstep because both the inspector and supplier were not alert on the defects to check. (More about What’s A Quality Control Inspection Checklist?)

Poor communication with your supplier can be costly. But here’s the good news, you can avoid ambiguities and misunderstandings by using a QC checklist. An effective checklist can prevent all the trouble because it provides the supplier with clear instructions on quality standards. Besides, the inspector can use the quality control checklist to ensure that the supplier follows the requirements before the products are shipped.

Here are the 3 most common mistakes that buyers face and possible solutions on how to avoid them.

1. Making Assumptions

Sometimes buyers tend to assume that the manufacture and the QC inspectors are aware of the defects to check. The challenge is that even though they might know the issues, their tolerance may be different from yours.

Depending on the nature of the products and the production method used, some defects can be unique to your products. This means that even though the products are monitored and examined by experts, the defects might pass undetected since they are uncommon.

Besides, the manufacturer may not be well conversant with the production of specific products hence not sure what defects to look for in quality control. This mostly happens when the manufacturer has never produced similar items before. Although the golden sample might meet your requirements, unpredictable mistakes are likely to develop in mass production.

Although it might not be possible to inform the supplier of all the possible defects before mass production, a QC checklist can help. It will allow the factory staff to monitor what they are producing to ensure that they meet the standards. It also enables the inspector to know the unique defects to expect.

You must ask the QC inspector to bring to your attention any quality issues they detect or suspect. You can then discuss with your manufacturer on whether the defect is acceptable and come up with solutions.

A golden rule is to keep adding the quality issues in the quality control checklist. This will help you to avoid making assumptions and having to deal with the consequences.

2. Failure to Classify Defects or Tolerance

Quality Control Inspection ChecklistBuyers understand better the inspection report when the or factory’s QC staff categorize the defects based on the buyer’s standards. There are 3 ways of classifying the products; minor, major, or critical. These categories determine if the products will be accepted or rejected. (More about the 3 Defect Classification In Product Inspection)

Failure to include the classifications or tolerance for certain defects and how the defects should be classified in the checklist creates room for mistakes. It creates confusion since the buyer, supplier, and inspector use their own tolerance levels. The result is the acceptance of products with defects that are otherwise unacceptable to the buyer.

Classifying defects will ensure that all the people involved in quality control have a clear understanding of your requirements, as stated in the QC checklist. This way, the factory stuff can identify and rectify the errors in the goods before the production is complete.

When you hire an inspector, make sure that he/she understands the quality standards and defects classification in the checklist. The result is minimal errors in the production, fewer delays, and shipment of quality goods.

3. Not Including Important On-Site Product Tests

If you are an experienced importer, then you are probably familiar with crucial on-site tests that should be carried out during the inspection. However, new buyers might not be aware of the importance of carrying out tests at the manufacturer’s premises.

Your inspector can help you to come up with essential tests that should be performed depending on the nature of your products. But regardless of the tests that you choose, you should always ensure that you cover the following information on your quality control checklist:

  • A list of testings to be carried out at the factory.
  • Suitable equipment for use in testing.
  • Who should provide the testing equipment?

If you fail to indicate the necessary testing to be done at the factory, the quality control staff may overlook it. You must inform your inspector about all the required testing to ensure that they conduct the tests.

Although most inspection agencies perform on-site testing, it’s important to inform them in advance so that they prepare. You can also inquire from the manufacturer if they have the necessary tools for testing. If they don’t have the essential tools, then the inspector should acquire the appropriate equipment to allow them to perform the inspection.

After you have prepared all the necessary testing, detail all the information on the checklist and inform the inspection agency and the factory.  Make sure that they understand all the details and are willing to comply with your requirements. Informing the factory in advance will help you avoid any inconveniences. For instance, some manufacturers may be reluctant to allow the inspector to perform some tests during the inspection like carton drop test.


Having a comprehensive quality control checklist is an essential step to ensuring you receive quality products from the supplier. You must have a detailed checklist because failure to indicate any testing or tolerance levels might result in inferior quality products.

These common mistakes in your quality control checklist can be costly. Although inspectors try to upheld high professionalism in their work, some errors might slip unnoticed. You want to avoid such mistakes by ensuring that they are aware of everything that needs to be covered during the inspection.

Avoiding mistakes builds confidence and protects your brand image. Furthermore, laying out everything clear for the parties involved gives you peace of mind. An effective QC checklist is vital to ensuring that the products arriving at your customer’s doorstep are exceptional.

More: 8 Common Mistakes U.S. Companies Make When Sourcing Goods And Suppliers In China

Author: AQI Service as a professional quality control service company in China specialized in providing a complete range of quality inspection and testing certification services in China & Asia for global importers, buyers, retailers, and sellers.

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