A factory audit is an important step to understand how well your company conforms to the necessary requirements, especially when you are cooperating with other business.
External audit sounds like a dreadful step to do in a business. Many people and businesses don’t like being audited, especially by an outside organization. However, it is a necessary part of a business to ensure that you have the standard quality products, process, and services.
Whether an external organization is auditing your company, or you are organizing your own, a factory audit does not have to be a stressful experience. As long as you perform well and prepare the audit checklist in detail, a quality audit will be just like any other quality control that your company has.
In this article, we are going to talk about several key points that you need to consider for a factory audit.
1. Zero tolerance requirements for severe violations
Audit checklist is important to make sure that you can keep on track about what to be assessed. As you audit the factory yourself, you may allow some little deviation from your quality audit checklist. However, if your factory acts as a supplier for other companies, this kind of small deviation may cause your company to fail a supplier audit.
A lot of external audits require stricter regulation and have zero tolerance for serious violations. Therefore, it is important to follow any regulations and requirements provided by the government, customers, or business partners. Some zero-tolerance checkpoints may include verifying mandatory licenses and certificates, and no child or forced labor allowed.
2. Basic facilities, environment and equipment maintenance
Another essential checklist for audit is basic facilities, environment, and equipment maintenance. For this checklist item, you will need to have a full walkthrough tour at the facility. This will ensure that everything in the factory from the operations to environment conforms to the required standard.
3. Quality management system organization
An effective factory audit should also assess the quality management system of the organizations as well. These auditing points will help your partner to see whether your factory meets their quality standards or not.
4. Quality control
Overall, the factory audit is an essential method to find out the quality of your products from the materials used to the finished products. Quality controls allow your partner to understand to what extent you maintain good quality products.
- Materials and components, ensuring that the supplier use good materials and not trying to cut costs by using inferior components and materials
- Production process, assessing the production process to catch issues in a specific process
- Finished goods, verifying that the final productions conform to the standard and no quality defects are found.
5. HR recruitment and training practices
High turnover in factories means future productions delays and quality issues. The use of temporary workers without formal training or contracts can also mean poor production performance. Therefore, this point becomes important in an audit checklist to ensure that the employee working there have proper training and qualification.
6. Engineering, research, and design capabilities
If you are going to cooperate with importers, there is a probability that you are going to need an engineering, research, and design team. While it is not mandatory and can be different for each company, they usually appreciate the presence of these teams during production.
7. Business development and management behavior
Factory audit also requires an assessment in business development and management behavior. This aspect helps you understand how well the company can communicate with buyers and conduct themselves with business partners.
Each factory has their standards and requirements of quality productions. However, most of them will still at least include the essential checklist above for a thorough factory audit.
To be able to perform the audit effectively between each auditor, it is important to use a proper tool and technology. Nimbly offers various features that will help auditors perform their external audit, such as digital checklist and issue tracker.
With their smart checklist builder, you can create an audit checklist using their customizable and pre-loaded template. It is versatile and easy to use since you can operate it from your mobile device.
When you found some issues during the audit, you can use their issue tracker to note down any issues found on site. With this tracker, you will be able to monitor the issue closely while it is being resolved, which in turn safe you a lot of time and effort in managing the issues found.
There are now plenty of technologies and systems you can use to automate any business operations you have. That is why even a factory audit now can be performed without hassle.
Nimbly is a mobile solution that digitizes operations, improves efficiency, and generates cost savings by providing companies' management with data-driven insights from field operations remotely and in real-time.