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Technical audits help producers to develop and maintain reliable manufacturing and quality control systems; reducing risk while increasing product quality, consumer confidence and satisfaction.

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The first step to establishing confidence in reliable manufacturing and quality control systems is to have a factory quality assessment completed. This is an independently-conducted and documented evaluation of the quality system(s) within a factory, which is performed periodically in accordance with written procedures.

The aim of such a quality audit is to verify, through the examination and evaluation of objective evidence, the degree of compliance with the quality system(s) under review. The assessor must be able to systematically evaluate every process in the production plants and analyze the strengths and weaknesses in the manufacturing system.

The auditing organization documents the results in a detailed report that shows where there is room for improvement in the production system (the corrective action plan) and sets out a timetable for completing the corrective actions.

The experienced auditors creating the report will use criteria comparable to management system standards (e.g. ISO 9001). In this way, they can establish the effectiveness of the quality system in ensuring that the finished products meet the clients’ specifications.

Quality Audits Reduce Risk and Costs

By identifying and correcting problem areas before products go onto the market, a quality audit can help a manufacturer to reduce the risk of non-conformance and the cost of product recalls.

In addition, a quality assessment can help a manufacturer's personnel to better understand client requirements - increasing the likelihood of the products being manufactured according to customers' specifications. A consistent quality system also features documentation control, and ensures that materials and products are properly handled and protected.

SGS Factory Quality Audits

SGS provides factory assessments covering these elements:

  • General condition
  • Management responsibility
  • Resources management
  • Product realization
  • Measurement analysis and improvement
  • Industry modules (relevant to the specific products involved)

We start with a comprehensive quality assessment of the factory site, using major quality standards or according to the manufacturer’s specific assessment protocol. SGS can also perform a follow-up assessment that focuses on the findings of a previous assessment and verifies the effectiveness of the corrective actions implemented. This may also be achieved via a desktop assessment, if the findings can be verified through document review.

SGS offers training services too, where the course content covers the core elements of factory quality assessments. We can tailor these courses to specific industries and manufacturing clients.

Contact SGS to find out how technical audits can improve your business.