Sourcing Spotlight: Product Quality Know-Hows in 2024

Quality always comes first when it comes to trading products, and good quality can build reputation within the industry. In this regard, NewsBites recently talked to Andy Church, Founder & CEO of Insight Quality Services, to share his insights on safeguarding quality from his 20+ years experiences in this area.

Worked in multiple global companies and as an expatriate in China for a decade, Andy believes his past experience has been rewarding in equipping him with an inspecting eye, not only in achieving important milestones such as CPSIA implementation, but also in discovering his entrepreneurial potential – that’s how his company Insight Quality was found.

As a quality assurance professional, he believes the essential criteria to succeed in this field is being open-minded: be ready to soak up knowledge and learn every day, adapt your strategy and discuss it with your network to improve. It is also vital to visit the facility yourself to get a real taste of operations.

Andy (right) based in the US shared with us product quality insights during a video interview.

Product Quality: Challenges & Opportunities

Andy ascertained the outlook of product quality profession. The entire industry is facing cost pressure, so being adaptable is number one priority. Make sure there is no lapse nor compliance oversight to maximise quality spend.

Embracing Technology

Quality assurance is just getting started in terms of utilising technology such as AI (artificial intelligence), based on Andy’s observation. Nonetheless, he does believe AI will play a significant role in the factory to optimise manpower. His advice would be to verify AI data and be analytical.

Be Eco-Friendly

With growing awareness in sustainability, practitioners can better protect the environment by changing the product components (e.g. paint) to less harmful alternatives. It will also be good to find substitutes with comparable price.

Incorporating technology in manufacture can help assure product quality.

Advice on Toys Quality

As the Hong Kong Toys & Games Fair is embarking in January soon, we are interested to know Andy’s thoughts for this particular product category.

According to Andy, the first thing is to ensure zero-tolerance to non-compliance, especially since toys are of intimate use for kids. Apply drop test and regulatory robots as additional measures, and establish a protocol in your company rather than employing a consultant. It is also essential to educate internally through employee training to maximise the efforts. 

How can SMEs Safeguard Quality?

For small-scale businesses with constrained resources or financial concerns, Andy suggested the followings:

  • Work on the product packaging to save costs, shipping fees, and reduce the chances of recalls
  • Conduct skip-lot inspections

Learn More:

Skip-Lot Inspections: How to Maximize Your Quality Spend

As Andy concluded, always remember regulatory compliance is only the minimum, we will need to do more than the bare requirements.

Watch the Video Q&A Now:

About the Interviewee

Picture of Andy Church - Founder & CEO of Insight Quality Services

Andy Church - Founder & CEO of Insight Quality Services

Andy Church has over 20 years of experience in product quality and founded his company in 2014. Insight Quality provides product inspections, factory audits, lab testing, and other services in 17 countries worldwide.

At HKTDC, we value product quality as much as Andy does! Look for safe and high quality toys and games at our upcoming Fair!

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