You absolutely can't trust a factory because even if the owner is an angel Murphy's Law reigns supreme. What can go wrong will go wrong. Either your staff or a 3rd part QC staff needs to be checking the factory periodically.
If you just want to learn about quality control methods used in the Vietnam garment industry then keep reading. Garment quality control in Vietnam is a key to your success.
What quality control standard will you accept?
Ultimately, garment quality control in Vietnam comes down to the attitude of the sewing factory owner. If the owner values quality, then you will see many QC systems in place and followed. If the owner does not genuinely care about quality control, you will quickly find out during production. What are some QC systems a factory can employ? Some factory owners create their own internal methods of QC and other factories employ industry-standard methods like AQL standards and Third Party Inspectors.
Will you hire a Third Party QC Company?
What are AQL Standards
The Acceptable Quality Level, commonly referred to as AQL, is a method widely used to measure quality control. It was developed by ISO (International Organization for Standardization.) The official standard number is ISO 2859-1:1999. An AQL inspection checks finished garments, raw materials, operations, supplies in storage, maintenance operations, and administrative procedures. So, how does AQL work in real life?
Third Party Inspectors
It is a good idea to hire a third party to do final inspections IF your order is big. If your order is small, less than 1,000 pieces, then hiring a third party is not cost effective.
In Vietnam there are two reputable third party inspectors: SGS and Intertek. Both companies offer package services where they coordinate with the factory, conduct the inspection and send you a report. They do a lot more than just QC the final garments. They can test fabric for defects like pilling, colorfastness or UV resistance. They can audit a factory before you place your first order. Hiring a third party inspection company is not cheap and usually only makes sense when placing large quantity orders like 10,000 pieces or more.
1. Choose your factory carefully. Get to know the owner well and check closely what internal QC measures he or she employs.
2. Clarify in writing what AQL standard you expect the factory to follow.
3. Do your own QC inspection at the beginning of production.
4. Do your own final QC at the end of production before shipment.
Garment quality control is like raising children; you've got to be on-duty 24/7. Or you hire a baby-sitter that you trust.
At the end of the day you are depending on the accountability and constitution of the factory owner.
The ultimate quality control will happen when your customers put on your garments. If there are problems, they will complain to your hotline or via social media. Your brand value is on the line. Do whatever it takes to ensure garment quality control in Vietnam is maintained well.
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1. Which styles do you want to manufacture first?
2. Do you have tech packs?
3. Do you have any special factory requirements?
4. Have you produced before? If yes, then in what country?
5. What quantity per style per color do you order?
6. Does your company have a website?
7. Do you want to work with an agent or directly with the factory?
8. Do you plan to visit Vietnam?
Fashion Start-up Consultant
Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
Author and Dad