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We are preparing for TexWorld next week in NYC and thought it appropriate to revisit quality within the textile and garment industry. A recent question we received related to what we would evaluate during a t-shirt inspection. That’s a good question…
With order details and product specifications in hand, our experienced textile/garment quality engineers go on-site and first verify the order quantity available. We confirm the quantity packaged (and labeled) vs. not packaged. That matters because a pre-shipment inspection generally requires 80% of the order be packaged at the time of inspection. An in-process inspection is scheduled around 30-50% complete.
If the verified quantity meets the client’s expectations, the inspector will select a random sample of items using ANSI Z1.4 as a standard. With something like t-shirts, we determine how the client would like sampling in advance. Considerations include various sizes, colors and/or styles. Many times, clients will combine theses variables and divide out the sample size proportionately. Sampling individually results in additional time on-site and for reporting, so supplier performance/history and cost are considerations when determining what the sample sizes should be.
I’ve recently returned from a visit to our offices in China where I was able to attend a C-TPAT audit with our Supplier Development Manager, Jean Champlain.
A C-TPAT audit isn’t quite as common as a general QMS or ISO 9001 evaluation, but the information generated has significant value when you understand the scope.
“C‐TPAT (Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism) seeks to safeguard the world’s vibrant trade industry from terrorists, maintaining the economic health of the U.S. and its neighbors. The partnership develops and adopts measures that add security but do not have a chilling effect on trade, a difficult balancing act.”
When we go on-site for a security audit, here’s the agenda:
On average, almost everyone has witnessed the birth of two nations each year of his or her existence. So, if you are 50 years old, then about 100 new countries will have been created since your birth. Membership of the United Nations (UN) grew from 51 original members in 1945 (there were 74 nation-states at that time) to 191 in 2002.
Did you know?
Around 90% of world trade is carried by the international shipping industry. There are over 50,000 merchant ships trading internationally, transporting every kind of cargo. The world fleet is registered in over 150 nations, and manned by over a million seafarers of virtually every nationality. (Source)
The top 10 traders in merchandise trade accounted for a little over half (52%) of the world’s total trade in 2013. The top 10 traders in world commercial services represent half of the world’s total trade in commercial services. (Source)
Whether you’re sourcing abroad, or from a manufacturer down the street, similar issues with product quality, shipment delays, cost and safety concerns, etc. still apply. To mitigate the quality risks and cost involved in sourcing, we recommend five actions that have been proven successful throughout the three decades of experience we have working with clients and suppliers around the world.
1 – Audit Potential & Existing Suppliers
To help ensure that potential or existing suppliers deliver high-quality products, operate efficiently, and support continuous improvement, process surveys and factory audits are performed.
From supplier capability and qualification to process control and quality system audits, there are a wide range of options.