Product Inspection Services
E-Commerce Supply Chain Basics – Know the Path of Your Products!
Product inspection services offer enhanced quality control. Private Label products travel an international road to reach your client’s doorstep. In fact, they change hands nearly 13 times in your supply chain. In light of this, one wonders, does everyone handle your products with care? Lets look at the supply chain from a birds eye view:
- Factory to LTL Carrier
- LTL Carrier to Distribution Center
- Distribution Center to Container
- Container to Port by LTL Carrier
- Container to Vessel
- Vessel to Long Beach Port, CA
- Container to US Devanning Warehouse
- Devanning Warehouse to LTL Carrier
- LTL Carrier to 3PL Fulfilment Center
- 3PL Fulfilment Center to UPS
- UPS Truck to UPS Distribution Center
- UPS Distribution to Amazon FBA Center
- Amazon FBA Center to UPS
So again, let’s ask the question – do truckers, dock workers, warehouse staff handle your products with care? Or do they do so haphazardly? Your products need extra quality control before International Shipping & before delivery to Amazon.
Your product’s journey starts in China. Therefore, your inspections need to start there too. In fact, FbaZoom recommends you inspect products before, during and after production – depending on your operation. Verify new suppliers product quality is matching expectations. Ensure mid-production QA looks good. Catch any mistakes in packaging near the end. Overall, inspections protect your quality control. There are three types of Chinese product inspections.
Pre-Production Inspection (PPI)
A pre-production inspection reviews the machinery & materials used for manufacturing. A PPI starts before production and runs until 20% is complete. Quality inspectors can identify risks before you are in too deep with flawed materials or manufacturing.
During Production Inspection (DPI)
During Production Inspection (DPI) refers to the product inspection and testing of products during the production process. This is done when 10% to 60% of the product has been manufactured and is being packaged for export. DPIs are synonymous with During Production Checks (DPC).
Pre-shipment inspection (PSI)
A pre-shipment inspection (PSI) is performed once goods have been 100% completed, packed and ready to be shipped to the designated country. The purpose of this inspection is to ensure that goods that the manufacturer has prepared are up to the agreed standard set out by the buyer’s purchase order.
PSI’s give buyers security when working with manufacturers. It ensures that product quality matches expectations. This can protect a buyers brand when goods reach consumers. Alternatively, If the goods have not been inspected and there are defects, this may hurt the business’s reputation.
Pre-Shipment Inspection Services
Let’s look at what a PSI covers in more detail:
- Conduct a final random inspection of a randomly selected sample of goods.
- Package, label, tag, instruction inspections to align with specific regional regulations
- Functionality testing of the goods.
- Measurement of the size and weight of the shipment.
- Testing of Bar code to ensure correctly implemented.
- Finally, Sealing the shipment.
Once the inspection is completed, an inspector will compile a comprehensive inspection report which goes all over all details in occurrence to legal regulations for the country in which the goods will be shipped. The inspection company can then issue a legal certificate of approval.
Generally, there are 13 points of change in your supply chain. It only takes one bad incident to damage a couple cases. So before you ship directly to Amazon, take a peak at them, using a 3PL.
American 3PL Product Inspection Service
What is different about a US product inspection service? It is less intensive. That means inspecting products and testing them. Brands are built on quality. Quality control comes from product inspections & testing. These services come from a dedicated staff at a 3PL prep center. This post examines why an Amazon seller should inspect products before shipping to Amazon.
How Product Inspections Work
How Many Units in a Production Inspection?
To be safe, request your 3PL to inspect 10% of your total products. Do this before delivery to Amazon. 10% offers a statistical insight. It shows the rate at which your items were damaged in transit or in production. A rule of thumb, if Amazon see’s at least 10% of your products being returned – you are in trouble. While they take a holistic approach to listing suspension, your listing could be in jeopardy. In short, if you inspect 10% yourself, you should be safe.
How Detailed is a Product Inspection?
You choose your own level of detail. For example, do you only need the product packaging inspected? Perhaps a warehouse worker stepped on your cases, while walking across the tops of pallets. As a result, the product’s packaging now looks smooshed. However, if you shipped glass products – you might need more. For example, if your supplier slacked on packaging, you might have broken glass. Now you need to remove the broken products. Also, you need to remove products contaminated by glass shards. See how that works? You can still clean up the contaminated products. However, they will need active inspections as well.
Product Testing – The Ultimate Product Inspection
Product inspections are surface level. And that is okay! However, you might have a dynamic product. For example, perhaps you have an umbrella. While the packaging is okay, are you sure all the moving parts work? Sellers can benefit from verification that all moving parts work. And work well. Similarly, maybe you have a battery powered electronic product. There’s alot of moving parts. If any one is out of synch – the product is faulty. As a result, it’s important the product is pulled from packaging and tested. Make sure it operates well. Make sure to highlight any trends towards malfunction. Product testing benefits both you, your listing and the client. Do not be shy when firming up product quality. Especially, when it’s at the finish line of the sales cycle.