In part one of this mini-series about quality control services in China provided by small QC teams, I talked about a meeting I had with a large and reputable engineering company based in the US about their search for a provider of quality control services in China.
I talked about how they shared with me that their quality control service provider has a two people QC team in China and how the reports they issue don’t always match the quality of the bulk they receive.
In that post I talked about what training this kind of teams should receive, but don’t always get, and how that could contribute to the gap between the reports and the quality of the goods.
If you didn’t read that post please read it here:
MISTAKE #2: THE SERVICE COMPANY DOES NOT SUPPORT THE ENGINEERS.
When I asked who is supporting the engineers in China, the answer I got was that they do not need support. “We interviewed the Engineers, and as they repeatedly said they have extensive industry knowledge and are familiar with the product”.
When an Engineer is working in a factory representing a client, they need much more than technical skills to get the job done. They need good communication skills and sometimes negotiation skills.
When engineers run into problems, they often need the support and cooperation of the factory as they are working to solve the problems.
Solving the problems may require assistance with checking a bigger batch of goods. This assistance may include carrying more boxes to the inspection area, moving heavy tooling from one injection machine to another, asking the mold shop rush a change to one of the inserts so that a sample can be sent on time, and more.
Providing the support may cause inconvenience to the factory that could be busy with a bigger order.
Many times the engineers can solve these issues with the factory. But sometimes they can’t because the factory is not motivated to help.
If in those cases the management of the services provider does not contact the factory management and express their concern about the lack of cooperation, the effect of the engineers’ presence in the factory is eroded. They receive less respect from the people in the factory in all levels and their work becomes much more difficult and frustrating.
Sometimes if the engineers feel that their management is not only not supporting them, but also ignoring them, they ask for support from the factory management. The problem is that in return for the factory’s top management support, they have to start giving more weight to the factory’s best interests and not the customers.