For businesses that outsource their manufacturing to overseas suppliers, quality control is critical to success. Outsourcing, though, is not a level playing field. When the world's most valuable company, Apple, has an axe to grind on QC, CEO Tim Cook can jet in, don a white coat and demand a tour of the factory. In a recent interview with Bloomberg Businessweek, Cook revealed that Apple and its supplier work so closely that employees from Cupertino regularly bunk in Chinese factory dorms.
If you're a small business you'll never wield Apple's level of influence—putting eyeballs and clipboards on the factory floor at every stage of the production process takes time and money that few SMEs can spare. But there are measures available, short of moving into a dorm room in China, that can help ensure the products that roll off the assembly line meet your standards and those of your customers. Here are five tips for getting what you pay for, without paying a lot to do so:
1. ASK FOR