Toy products are subject to strict safety and quality regulations around the world, making it imperative that toy manufacturers have a reliable and robust quality control program in place to ensure compliance. In such a fast-moving industry, this program must also be flexible and allow for unpredictability.
This case study demonstrates how QIMA helped a leading toy company improve the quality of their products and adaptability of their supply chain through a comprehensive inspection, audit and lab testing program.
The client is a major European toy company sourcing over 1,000 product lines from Asia. The bulk of its sourcing is done in China, Vietnam and India and its sales region is Europe and the USA.
As a toy manufacturer, the client had a particular responsibility towards children and parents to ensure the safety of their products. The client aimed to live up to its image as a creator and supplier of top quality creative and educational toy products.
The client produced three core lines (toys and games, decorations and creative leisure) spanning over 1,000 products every year, sourced from over 70 factories in China, India and Vietnam. Constantly innovating, they create a new product nearly every day and are always willing to take risks to turn dreams into reality. Such originality brings a great deal of unpredictability to the supply chain.
In order to achieve their goal, the client must comply with a wide range of laws and regulations in the EU and US regarding the production of their toys. QIMA's role was to help our client in doing the utmost to ensure that these requirements were met.
Toy regulation is organized and based on the intended use of the toy, the age category (children under 36 months etc.), and the material used (wood, textile, cardboard and paper, electrical components etc.).
QIMA was able to provide the necessary expertise in supporting the client in achieving compliance in all of these categories through audits, inspections and lab testing.
Utilizing our expertise in the toy industry across audits, inspections and lab testing, QIMA was able to design and implement a full quality control process across the supply chain.
The program aligned with the client's exact specifications for each product and category, incorporating technical diagrams and information regarding product and age categories for each unit.
Thanks to QIMA's extensive network coverage, the program was implemented and coordinated across China, India and Vietnam, allowing the client to check production at any stage of the supply chain.
In order to ensure that all products that arrive at customs comply with EU and US regulations, QIMA implemented a strict process of tracking production from end-to-end and organized random sample collection at various stages of the supply chain for lab testing. On behalf of the client, QIMA conducts tests according to the New Toy Safety Directive EN 71-1/2/3 for the European market and CPSIA ASTM F963 for the US market.
QIMA's Total Quality Control Program consisted of:
In addition to designing and implementing the program, QIMA was able to provide the client with online Business Intelligence Tools which provide the client with real-time data on individual suppliers and their performance, allowing the client to monitor progress at all stages of production, including the results of Ethical Audits conducted regularly across their 70+ suppliers.
QIMA was able to provide the client with a simple, effective and comprehensive quality control program, and worked with the client to develop it into a global supply chain solution.
Prior to beginning the program, the client had a Beyond AQL rate of over 38%. One year after implementing the new program, the client reduced poor quality products and the Beyond AQL rate decreased by 40%.
The program enabled the client to be proactive in responding to their flexible supply chain needs by using critical point analysis to identify strong and weak points in their production, ensuring that production needs are met in a timely fashion and comply with all necessary regulations, in addition to reducing the risk of costly recalls and ensuring that their responsibility to the consumer is met.
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