China Factory Visit – Buyer Diary #33 Factory Visit

Why are factory visits needed?
A factory visit is similar to a factory audit. It is the assessment of the factory in terms of manufacturing process, quality control as well as overall condition of the factory. The difference between factory audit is that factory audit is done by professionals. One of the main purposes of factory visit is to determine if the factory is good to work with, long term. 

China Factory Visit – Buyer Diary #33 Factory Visit

What should you observe during a factory visit?
Generally, a factory visit is less professional, thus there is not a specific criteria list to follow. However, there is a general list where you could consider following.

·      Factory space (departments)
·      Manpower and human rights
·      Factory management (organization)
·      Factory equipment

Factory Space
Factory space is extremely essential in a factory. The larger the factory, the more space to work with and the neater the factory. Factories with large space are great because they different departments of factories can be separated neatly. Manufacturing has several processes and if each process is separated into specific rooms, the whole production process would be neater, clearer and easier to manage.

Things to take note:
How are the different stages of production separated?
Are there specific rooms for each stage of production?
Where is the factory situated?

Manpower and human rights
I am absolutely sure most of you people have heard about the poor human rights in many factories in China. As a buyer or exporter, it is critical to be socially responsible.

Some things to note:
How old are the workers?
What are their duties?
Do they have a place to stay?
How does their accommodation looks like?

Factory Management
It is essential for the factory to be properly managed. The organization chart is important as properly management would ensure the smooth running of the production management.

Things to note:
What is the organization structure of company?
Are there specific managers who will be in charge of each production stage?

Factory Equipment
The quality of your products will depend greatly on the factory equipment. Thus, it is essential to inspect the equipment that is being used for the production of your goods.

Things to take note:
What are the equipment used for the factory?
During quality check, what are the equipment the used for inspection?
What equipment is used for specific production stages – logo printing, cutting of materials, combining all materials together?

Factory visits are essential, especially in determining the long-term relationship with the particular factory. For more tips on China factory visit, follow ODM's series of Buyers Diary. The Buyer Diary is a journal of one of our clients who made a visit to their factories in China.