If you want to ensure the highest-possible quality for your products, you need to have regular quality inspections performed on your shipments. Keep in mind, though, that before you ever have an inspection performed, you first need well-thought-out quality inspection checklists.

A checklist provides your quality inspection service provider with clear criteria to follow when inspecting your products. It also helps make it clear to your factory what standards they need to meet.

Today we’ll talk about how to create your checklist and how to organize it. We will give you an example checklist, which provides guidelines for inspecting a doghouse. You can use this example to help you generate ideas for your own product checklist.

How should you begin the process of creating your quality control checklist?

Start by Thinking About the Potential Defects That Can Occur With Your Product

You need to start thinking about the kinds of things that can go wrong with your product during production. This will help you come up with a list of specific potential defects.

Create a list of potential defects and divide them into different categories: major, minor, and critical defects. For more information about how to do this, read this article.

Keep in mind that the way you come up with your list of defects will differ, depending on whether you have sold the item before or not. If you have sold the product before, you can reference customer complaints and issues that have come up for you in the past. If you haven’t, you can consider the issues that you had when creating your samples.

Let’s talk about the sections that will go into your checklist.

The Sections You Need to Have in Your Quality Inspection Checklists

Your quality inspection checklists will consist of different sections. Generally, you will have sections similar to the following. Depending on what type of product you have, you may not need to have all of these sections, or you may have even more:

  • Package & Labeling – These sections include items such as having clear and legible shipping marks, ensuring labels are printed correctly, and verifying that your packages are not physically damaged in any way.
  • Visual Inspection – This section includes items for the inspector to check visually as they hold or walk around the product. Using our doghouse as an example, they might be on the lookout for paint peeling, bad odor, or missing screws.
  • Functional Testing – The items included in this section involve physically using or manipulating the product to ensure that it works properly. For example, making sure the legs of the doghouse stand firmly without rocking, or checking to see if the accessories attach easily.
  • Physical Requirements – This is the section that covers making sure that product dimensions match specifications, the product weight is correct, and so on.
  • Special Tests – Based on the unique attributes of your product, you can create tests that are unique to it. For example, if your product requires assembly, you would want to have the inspector check that all parts fit together properly.
  • Barcode Verification – This section includes items such as ensuring all UPC labels match the purchase order information and can be scanned correctly.
  • Carton Drop Tests – After dropping your carton on the ground, there should be no damage to the product or packaging.

Now that you have an idea of the types of sections that go into quality inspection checklists, let’s look at an actual example.

Is Your Quality Control in the Doghouse? Download This Sample QC Checklist

To give you a concrete example, we’ve provided you with a sample quality inspection checklist for download. In it, you’ll see a list of items for performing inspections on a doghouse. Note that in the columns on the right, they are identified as major, minor, or critical defects.

Let’s briefly cover some examples of each defect type.

First, think about how if you were making a wooden doghouse, you might be concerned about wood splinters or exposed nails. These would be considered critical defects because they could injure consumers. When thinking about your own product, consider the materials that go into it and how they might cause safety concerns.

If nails or other metal products are rusted, this is classified as a major defect. These defects would likely prevent someone from purchasing the doghouse or cause it to be returned.Think about what would cause a consumer to turn away from your product.

A large gap between the parts of a doghouse could give consumers a slightly worse impression of its quality. Depending on how big the gap was, this could be either a major or minor defect. Think about what kinds of defects might affect the impression people have of your product.

Read through the doghouse checklist and use it to start thinking about what needs to go into your own checklist.

Good Quality Inspection Checklists Will Help You Ensure Quality Control

Remember that a good quality inspection checklists can help to get you on the same page with your manufacturer and inspection service provider. It will make it more likely that when you receive a shipment, your products come through looking great.

When developing your quality inspection checklists, keep in mind that you need to define different types of defects and divide them into appropriate categories. Use our doghouse checklist as a guide, and contact us if you need assistance with inspections and creating your own checklist.

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