What are the key purposes for conducting audits and how do different types of audits work – or work together? Here, we’ll define different types of audits and explain why they’re important in the grand scheme of manufacturing. Read on for an audits overview!

Social Compliance, Security, Quality, Capability, and Capacity audits offer insight into your manufacturers and supply chain and help you provide the highest and most reliable quality services to your customers. They are evaluations that help to remedy quality, communication, consistency, and compliance issues and prevent mistakes from happening in the supply chain.

If your main business objective is to uphold quality in every step of the process and deliver exceptional and reliable customer service, conducting audits will help you get there. Here is a list of different types of audits for a closer look at their objectives:

Social Compliance Audits Based on SA 8000, this audit assesses a factory for social and ethical compliance. Social compliance audits focus on workplace health and safety, child and forced labor, working hours and wages, discrimination, discipline, management systems, and dormitories if provided by the factory.

Security/C-TPAT Audits

C-TPAT is the Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism initiative by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) focused on improving the security of private companies’ supply chains with respect to terrorism. Auditors should assess the security and commercial processes of your suppliers on-site to ensure C-TPAT compliance.

Quality Audits Quality audits assess the quality systems carried out by manufacturers in accordance with the ISO quality system standard, ISO 9001. The chief purpose of these assessments is to measure the effectiveness of factories’ Quality Management Systems (QMS) to guarantee that the results are as intended.

Capability Audits This type of audit assesses whether the factory has the equipment, ability and people to manufacture the products that you are intending to purchase. These audits will help ensure that your orders are placed with the correct factory.

Capacity Audits Capacity audits allow customers to obtain an independent measure of a factory’s production capacity.  When placing an order with a factory it is vital that the factory can deliver on time and a capacity audit can provide that level of confidence.

These key areas must be regularly evaluated in order to keep business running smoothly and compliantly – that’s why audits are so important. Now that you understand the functions of different types of audits, make sure your business is keeping a close eye on everything it should be!


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