to inspect or not to inspect

In the world of quality, making a decision to proactively inspect your product can make the difference between a successful products launch verses an epic failure at market.  Most large cosmetic brands perform inspections on all products received, whether it is finished goods or packaging only.  I recommend this protocol for all suppliers, whether large or small. The most common inspection protocol utilized in most industries is the Military Standard 105 E Inspection Criteria.

The Military Standard 105 E Inspection Criteria is as a United States defense standard that provided procedures and tables for sampling inspection theories and mathematical formulas.  It has been widely adopted outside of military procurement applications. The quantity inspected is based on overall quantity of shipment received. Based on the AQL (Acceptable Quality Level) established by the company receiving the goods, there are 3 different types of inspections that can be performed, which are NORMAL, REDUCED or TIGHTENED.

For example, if your company received 10,000 pieces of finished goods, the inspector must decide whether to perform a normal, reduced or tightened inspection. One of the easiest ways to make this decision is based on vendor evaluation. If the vendor that supplied the goods is considered to be reliable and utilizes good quality practices, the inspector could perform a REDUCED inspection, meaning the minimum sampling is required from the 10,000 pieces. However, if the vendor is considered to unreliable and to practice very relaxed quality standards, then it may be wise to perform a tightened sampling, which means the largest quantity allowable for a 10,000 piece order.  If you a smaller company and have yet to rate your vendors, it is best to perform a normal inspection, which means the reasonable amount for 10,000 piece order would be inspected.

Based on the AQL set by the company, there is allowable amount of defects for each type of inspection. For example, for a reduced inspection of 10,000 pieces with an AQL of 2.5%, you are allowed to find no more than 5 defects within your sampling quantity. For a normal inspection of 10,000 pieces with an AQL of 2.5%, you are allowed to find no more than 10 defects within your sampling quantity. And lastly, for a tightened inspection of 10,000 pieces with an AQL of 2.5%, you are allowed to find no more than 14 defects within your sampling quantity. No matter the type of inspection performed or the AQL established, if you are asking yourself whether to inspect or NOT to inspect……..

The answer is INSPECT, INSPECT, INSPECT.  It is never a bad idea to catch any issues with your product before placing it on the market.  Though smaller facilities are usually challenged with resources and opt not to inspect goods when received, it can save you a lot of time and energy on the back end in the event an issue is discovered AFTER the product has hit the market. After all, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure!

At Roberts Cosmetics + Containers, we strive to inspect and provide quality service to our customers. Contact us today and learn more about how we can help find the perfect product for your brand.

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