While searching for vendors, one of the best ways to hone in on the best suppliers is to review factory certifications and quality standards prior to kicking off negotiations and productions. Factories will list their credentials and likely have an ISO 9001 or ISO 14001 certification or similar.
“ISO”, also known as ‘ the International Organization for Standardizations’ is an independent non-governmental international organization, based out of Switzerland, accepted across the world, that set forth testing standards for quality, energy, environmental, health, food safety and IT management. Although ISO does not certify nor supply certificates – the standards they set can apply to manufacturers, sellers, buyers, customers, trade associations, users and regulators. The certificates for these standards are issued by accredited certification bodies located around the world.
The most popular and well-recognized standards are ISO 9001 and ISO 14001. “ISO 9001” is for quality management of resources, staff, workplace, processes and record keeping. “ISO 14001” is in regard to environmental management systems to improve sustainability and performance of the product, location, activities and services.
When reviewing factories that advertise that they possess ISO standards certifications, there are certain things to look out for.
1)When a factory lists their accreditation as “ISO certification” or “ISO certified”, this should raise a red flag because they could be falsely advertising. The proper way to list out accreditation is ISO quality standard and the year the standard was updated. An example of this is “ISO 9001:2015”, 9001 is the standard and 2015 was the year it was last updated.
2)When companies are saying they’re ISO 9001:2015 certified, it is important to request the document to review the year it was issued. Sometimes factories accidentally supply an expired version or did not get re-credited. The ISO certifications must be updated every three years.
The first thing is to request a copy of the certification if your factory advertises they possess the credentials. You can do further investigating by checking with the accrediting organization or put an inquiry into ISO themselves. Another way to check if ISO is properly being used is to work with a local agency company to verify the certificates that vendors are supplying. You can contact Victure Group if you’d like to verify the certificates that your factory is supplying are legitimate.
Join the following groups for off-shore sourcing opportunities-
China Sourcing- https://www.linkedin.com/groups/4462099/
India Sourcing- https://www.linkedin.com/groups/8454669/
Vietnam Sourcing- https://www.linkedin.com/groups/8815822/
Asia Sourcing- https://www.linkedin.com/groups/8909383/
Gifts and Premiums- https://www.linkedin.com/groups/4421652/
Circular Economy- https://www.linkedin.com/groups/13908783/