The Role of Product Rework in Successful Supply Chain ExecutionJuly 13, 2021
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Quality Corrections & Inspections (QCI) performs a wide variety of product inspection, repair, and rework services for customers around the world. With over 35 years of experience in performing product rework, we have some unique insights on the quiet role that our services deliver to help companies in the apparel, footwear, accessories, and consumer goods sectors achieve success in their supply chain execution.
What is product rework?
Product rework is an important function in retail supply chain execution. It is a term used to describe tasks required to alter, correct, or repair products to meet a company’s inventory needs.
Companies might require product rework to overcome real or perceived quality issues through corrections or repairs to a product. For example, an imported product may have arrived stateside with evidence of mold or mildew that requires remediation. In other cases, there may have been a production error. Examples of product errors include sewing alterations or corrections, refinishing footwear to meet a brand’s color and finish specifications, and replacement of poor-quality hardware or incorrect components on a shipment of finished goods.
In other cases, product rework might be utilized to alter or change a product to meet specific needs. For example, a company might need to rebrand or reposition a product for marketing needs by repackaging to increase the goods visibility in stores or to highlight special product features.
So, whether your company is an importer of goods into the US or, an exporter of goods from overseas to U.S. buyers, product rework can be an important function to utilize to achieve success in your supply chain execution strategy as you meet demands for inventory availability.
Why is product rework required?
Product rework can help address inventory problems or opportunities. It is an important function in supply chain execution that is not often discussed, but it can play an important role in turning around unforeseen problems or to position a company for new business opportunities.
Problems happen. Supply chain disruptions, those issues that can arise and disrupt the timing and availability of goods (“inventory”) to retailers and consumers, are unfortunate and can arise in several types of circumstances that may or may not be in your control.
Opportunities arise. There are a variety of times when a product rework can lead to a new business development or sales opportunity.
What are some of the most common examples of situations requiring product rework?
- CPSC and other federal product standards – goods that do not meet a variety of federal standards for safety or product labeling can lead to needs for product rework.
- Manufacturing errors and other supply chain issues – rushed production, miscommunication, the quality of sub-supplier materials and several other factors can lead to product integrity issues.
- Mother Nature – monsoons, rain, and humidity in production locations and for goods in transit from overseas can lead to mold, odor, and mildew issues.
- Production design change or marketing needs – rebranding, redesign, and repackaging of goods may be desired to better market and position products for sale.
- Fewer eyes on QC/QA – there are several approaches that companies take to monitor production, shipment, and storage of goods. As travel budgets are reduced and there is increased reliance on 3rd parties or remote oversight, there may be fewer eyes on quality control and quality assurance that can lead to potential needs for product rework.
- Redirecting or reconfiguring inventory for different sales channels – redirecting inventory from physical stores to online channels may require reconfiguration of merchandise for fulfillment.
What are some of the capabilities and services that a product rework company can provide?
Performing the arduous task of inspecting, sorting, and reworking goods with higher-volume inventory counts can be challenging undertakings. Successful rework projects require flexible space, skilled labor, and oftentimes specific-purpose equipment and tools.
Quality Corrections & Inspections is a high-volume product rework company that has been serving the apparel, footwear, accessories, and consumer goods industries for over 35 years now. Customers engage QCI to inspect and rework millions of products annually.
With two U.S. locations, the company is well positioned to service retailers and distribution centers dispersed across the U.S. and Canada that need to complete product reworks quickly and cost-effectively. Both facilities have the technical expertise, resources, equipment, and facilities for projects ranging from a few thousand units to hundreds of thousands of units.
Some of the unique product rework capabilities and services provided by Quality Corrections & Inspections includes:
- Mold & Mildew Remediation
- Odor Removal/Ozone Treatment
- Labeling, Ticketing & Tagging
- Footwear Refinishing, Sole/Insole Repair & Replacement
- Industrial Sewing Alterations or Repairs
- Hardware Replacement/Repair (eg. buckles, bows, eyelets, buttons)
- Color Bleeding Corrections
- 100% Inspection, Sorting, Grading, Spec Measuring
- High Volume Laundering Services
- Garment Finishing
- Component Change Outs or Additions
- Customized Rework Solutions
- CPSC Compliance Corrections/Rework
- Function Testing
- Kitting & Assembly
What are some examples of the problems or opportunities that Quality Corrections & Inspections has been able to solve for customers?
Quality holds and overseas production errors impact everyone’s ability to effectively manage and move inventory through their supply chain. While there are dozens of project case studies on QCI’s website, highlighted below are some representative examples:
Mold and Damaged Packaging
Problem: A high-end retailer of outdoor coats received several containers with visible mold and damaged packaging. The goods were produced, packaged, and shipped from a high-heat and high-humidity environment during peak monsoon season.
Solution: QCI received the coats, removed all the labels and tags, and disposed of the original packaging materials. The coats were remediated in a timely manner utilizing the company’s state-of-the-art laundering facilities. The garments were re-tagged and placed in new packaging ensuring the entire shipment was first quality.
Incorrect Care Content Labels
Problem: An importer of women’s shirts was alerted that their shipment was flagged for inaccuracies on the product’s care content labels.
Solution: QCI worked with the manufacturer to get the correct labels printed and shipped directly to their facility. The team removed the existing labels and sewed in the new approved care content labels.
Problem: Testing performed by a nationally accredited lab determined that a high content of lead, exceeding regulatory standards, was found in the buttons of over 1,000,000 children’s tops. With the spring season fast approaching, the vendor had no time to return the merchandise overseas for correction. This put the vendor at high risk of lost sales and profits.
Solution: QCI removed and replaced the faulty buttons with new lead compliant hardware and returning the goods to first quality and back to the retailer in time for the spring season.
Problem: An outdoor retailer received 10,000 high-end rain jackets with defective snaps. It was determined to be an error in the manufacturing process, however, there was no time to return the shipment back overseas for repair without losing significant sales.
Solution: QCI worked directly with the manufacture to obtain new snaps which were shipped directly to the company’s west coast facility. The team at QCI worked to quickly remove and replace the defective snaps. Pull tests were performed and the jackets were returned to first quality inventory.
Problem: A large clothing brand received denim jeans that upon AQL inspection, the inseams were found to be out of tolerance.
Solution: QCI quickly inspected and sorted the jeans and the expert staff in our industrial sewing department corrected every out-of-tolerance inseam, returning the entire shipment to first quality.
Umbrella Handles Rework
Problem: When conducting a small random audit on a shipment of umbrellas, an importer was discovering that some of the handles did not appear to be adhering to the poles per their specifications. Rather than reject the entire shipment and factoring in the time it would take to receive a new shipment, the importer sought out QCI to perform a 100% inspection and repair project.
Solution: QCI inspected and performed manual pull tests on the handle for over 12,000 units. Units that passed inspection were set aside as first quality. On the defective units, QCI was able to remove the umbrella handles, apply the appropriate adhesives to correct the issue and allow all 12,000 units to be shipped to retailers.
Appliance Product Repackaging
Problem: A small appliance manufacturer needed to have their product repackaged in a more consumer-appealing carton to compete with a competitor’s branding.
Solution: QCI received nearly 20,000 units and removed them from the original packaging. We received a flat-packed shipment of the new eye-catching packaging and quickly assembled the new cartons, transferred the polybagged appliances into the new packaging, applied glue to the carton where specified and packaged the newly repacked products into master cartons for shipment to the retailer’s distribution center.
Quality Corrections & Inspections is a provider of inspection, repair and reworks services for apparel, footwear, accessories, and consumer goods. We proudly service importers, retailers, manufacturers, distribution centers and direct-to-consumer businesses.
With a 35-year legacy of delivering superior results for companies across a variety of industries, and around the world, you can trust the quality and accuracy of our product rework services. Contact us for a free, no-obligation project analysis anytime your company may need our services for your successful supply chain execution strategies.