How to Do More With Your Product Inspection Report Data

by | Mar 16, 2018 | AQL, Product Inspections, Quality Control

Image Source: Aqua Mechanical 

Use Inspection Report Data to Make Better Sourcing Decisions

If you’re serious about quality control, you probably have a third-party inspection company perform inspections at the factory before every shipment.

Your inspector fills out an inspection form with the results of the inspection and you receive it in your inbox. Perhaps you look at your product inspection report to see if the goods passed or failed, approve or deny the shipment, and then forget about that report altogether.

If that’s all you’re doing with that report, you may be overlooking the long-term value that these reports provide.

Let’s talk about what data is available in your inspection reports.

The Data in Your Inspection Reports Has Long-Term Value

To better manage your supplier relationships and make better sourcing decisions you should always be collecting data that you can use for making decisions later. One of the most important things you can keep track of is your Observed Quality Levels.

Observed Quality Levels (OQL) allow you to see the results of inspections in a more nuanced way. They give you a percentage of each type of defect rather than just a pass or fail. If you’re working with multiple suppliers, this can help you evaluate them against each other. For example, it might help you decide which factories to perform more inspections at to maximize your quality spend.

Every time you receive an inspection report, you should store certain information for later, such as:

  • The date of each inspection
  • Factory name
  • Type of inspection
  • Inspection result
  • The number of each defect type, including critical, major, and minor defects.

At Insight Quality, we have the ability to keep track of all this information for our customers in the cloud. They can use their login information to review it. Otherwise, you may want to come up with an Excel sheet to keep track of your data.

Now that your collecting all this data related to inspections, how do you use it?

What to do With All the Inspection Data You’re Collecting

Collecting inspection data and using it adds some objectivity to decisions you need to make regarding your relationship with suppliers.

For example, if one factory has a higher OQL than another, that means they have a higher percentage of defects. If you have multiple suppliers, OQL data can be very useful for comparing them.

In general, you should share inspection data with your factories and encourage them to review it. A good factory will be proactive with any inspection reports or data you give them. If they’re not, they should at least be willing to make improvements based on their conversations with you. If they’re not willing to make improvements at all, perhaps it’s time to find a new supplier.

In addition to the information found in the inspection sheet, there is other data you should be keeping track of.

Going Beyond the Inspection Sheet: More Useful Data

You should always keep track of whether each shipment goes out on time. At Insight Quality, we track this for our customers, and they can log in to see this data online. It goes without saying that you want to work with suppliers that are shipping on time.

In addition, it’s a good idea to keep track of return data from your customers. Looking at returns aggregated over time can give you an indication of product quality problems or problems with your packaging that you might be missing.

Sometimes the decisions you make with suppliers can be “gut” decisions, but having data can help to make your decisions more informed and give you leverage with suppliers.

Make Better Sourcing Decisions by Leveraging Product Inspection Report Data

Remember that you should be keeping track of the data in your product inspection reports over time. This will help give you more objectivity when making decisions regarding your supply chain.

Keeping track of OQL and inspection results from your inspection report is an excellent way to utilize your inspection data. Also keep track of whether shipments are on time and your return data as well. Use this data when making decisions about whether to keep, drop, or modify your relationship with a supplier and to encourage factories to make improvements over time.

Have more questions on how to use inspection data? Want to begin using Insight to conduct your inspections? Schedule a time to discuss your needs by making a free consultation appointment by clicking here.

Thanks for reading! Do you have any questions about the article? Is there something else you’d like to add? Leave a comment below and we will get back to you.

Andy Church

Founder & CEO, Insight Quality Services


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