Content By John Niggl

John Niggl’s picture

By: John Niggl

Ever wondered why quality control (QC) professionals check a sample instead of 100 percent of a shipment during inspection? Or maybe you’ve wondered why they use acceptance sampling, rather than simply inspecting an arbitrary quantity of goods, such as 10 or 20 percent?

Most importers value the transparency that quality control inspection provides. They know that catching any unacceptable quality issues or nonconformities before shipping is crucial to being able to address them before they hurt their bottom lines.

But many importers are at a loss when it comes to determining how many units they should inspect. They want to check as many as possible to get a representative look at their total order, while simultaneously trying to balance the time and cost needed for inspection. Frustration often results when importers don’t understand how standards dictate the sample size chosen for, and ultimately the results of, their inspection.

John Niggl’s picture

By: John Niggl

On the morning of Thursday, Aug. 13, 2015, I woke to find dozens of posts from netizens clamoring about events that had occurred late the night before. There had been two massive explosions reported from a warehouse in Tianjin, a prominent port city in northern China.

Shockwaves were felt several kilometers away from the blast site, and soon phone videos of the explosions taken by people in Tianjin revealed the extent of the disaster. Eyewitness accounts started to clash with state media reports. Despite the best efforts of the Chinese government to downplay the incident and censor those who were sharing what they had seen, both videos and speculation proliferated.

While the true number of casualties and some other facets of the disaster are still uncertain, this article will illuminate, based on what is known, how the Tianjin warehouse explosions could have been prevented through the use of an ISO 9001-type audit.

What we do know about the Tianjin explosions

John Niggl’s picture

By: John Niggl

If you’re like most savvy manufacturers, you know to watch out for changes in labor laws that could affect you in countries where you have factories or where you sell your products. We’ve all seen examples of how manufacturers were held accountable for the safety of workers and consumers alike.

As an example of the former, we’re all familiar with how government officials and factory owners faced criminal charges for the Rana Plaza collapse two years ago, and that a social compliance audit potentially could have prevented that tragedy. We’ve also discussed how North America’s largest hardwood flooring distributor faced a quality control disaster when it was discovered that its products didn’t meet California Air Resource Board (CARB) standards for safety.

John Niggl’s picture

By: John Niggl

What are the best ways for a foreign company to monitor quality at a contract Chinese manufacturer? What groundwork should you lay before working with a Chinese supplier?

It should come as no surprise that China remains a major manufacturing hub for buyers abroad. As of 2013, Chinese suppliers were producing more personal computers, cell phones, energy-saving lamps, solar panels, air conditioners, and shoes than any other nation on the planet. These days, you have your pick among a seemingly endless list of suppliers in China, all eager to get your business, and all touting their ability to make a quality product.


Click here for larger image.