6 Most Common Types of Factory Audits and Benefits of Each

Want to make sure your suppliers are reliable and capable before integrating them into your supply chain? Read about 6 common factory audits and their benefits.

Do you want to make sure your suppliers are reliable and capable before integrating them into your supply chain?

Factory audits are one of the best ways to get a full picture of your supplier’s sourcing and operational policies, and ensure that they align with your company’s brand image.

The type(s) of audit that’s best for your company depends on the type of product or service you provide.

In this article, we’ll cover the 6 most common types of audits and their benefits, so you can determine the most suitable factory audit for your organization.

What are the 6 Most Common Types of Factory Audits?

1. Manufacturing Audit

During a manufacturing factory audit, the auditors determine if a supplier is capable of: producing a product that meets your company’s specifications, addressing costly disruptions, and preventing (further) costly disruptions once production is launched.

Benefits of a Manufacturing Audit

  • Verifies that your supplier’s manufacturing facilities are suitable to produce your product
  • Ensures alignment of your company’s sourcing policies and your supplier’s policies
  • Identifies and mitigates potential quality, operational, and ethical risks
  • Evaluates the competence of factory management

2. Ethical Audits

Ethical audits help to ensure social accountability is being reviewed. With increasing pressure for all companies to be socially accountable – to provide healthy, safe, and ethical work environments along with sound labor practices and pay – an ethical audit ensures the appropriate work conditions are being followed. The criteria used for ethical factory audits can be both client-specific and based on several different international standards.

Benefits of Ethical Audits:

  • Ensures your supply chain has decent working conditions and human rights practices
  • Helps determine compliance with statutory requirements
  • Prevents unauthorized subcontracting
  • Helps gain an accurate understanding of ethical compliance
  • Builds cooperative relations with suppliers
  • Improves your company’s brand image and consumer loyalty

3. Structural Audits

Structural audits, are designed to analyze the integrity and safety of your suppliers’ buildings and premises. This includes auditing the structural integrity, fire safety measures, relevant codes and conditions.

Benefits of Structural Audits

  • Ensures safe working conditions, which helps prevent minor and catastrophic injury
  • Ensures that employee health is not in danger
  • Protects your brand image and reputation
  • Reviews compliance with statutory requirements
  • Helps gain an accurate understanding of the state of safety in your supply chain
  • Prevents supply chain interruptions

4. Environmental Audits

By monitoring and improving the environmental impact of your supply chain, environmental factory audits help evaluate compliance with local laws and regulations as it relates to environmental protection.

Benefits of Environmental Audits

  • Assurances that international principles and your company’s compliance requirements are both being followed
  • Provides the ability to combine audit results with lab testing to capture a complete picture of your supplier’s environmental performance
  • Leads to the improvement of environmental performance
  • Verifies compliances with local and international regulations for environmental protection

5. Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism (C-TPAT) Audit

The C-TPAT audit focuses on improving the security, with respect to terrorism, of private companies in supply chains. The program is led by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection. Audit programs are designed to assess and enhance security measures, both from a physical and virtual perspective.

Benefits of C-TPAT

  • Strengthens your supply chain security
  • Verifies compliance and ensures the integrity of security practices of business partners in your supply chain
  • Improves U.S. border security

6. Food Supplier Audits

Factory audits for food suppliers, food supplier audits, are designed to assess food hygiene and good manufacturing practices. They focus on food quality and safety. Plus, they ensure that facilities meet the appropriate standards.

Benefits of Food Supplier Audits

  • Demonstrates your commitment to food safety and quality
  • Increases consumer confidence
  • Improves operational efficiency
  • Ensures adherence to government regulations and requirements of your destination market

Why Large Companies Need Factory Audits

The factory audits, each type, all lead to the ultimate goal of protecting your company’s image and your brand image(s).

They allow an independent third-party auditor to objectively evaluate core objectives of safety, security, ethical operations, compliance of government regulations, adherence to your company’s standards, and to avoid costly supply chain interruptions.

Can you afford not to conduct an audit?

How QIMA Can Help

At QIMA, we take your company’s image and interests seriously. As such, we offer a Supplier Audit Program (SAP) that provides a full picture of your supplier’s business and policies.

We send independent auditors to your supplier’s manufacturing facilities. There, our auditors analyze the company’s manufacturing capacities, quality management system, structural safety, social compliance and/or environmental impact.

You receive all the information that you need to take corrective action, if necessary.

Your Next Steps

Factory audits help ensure your supply chain is complying with local and international standards, your own company’s standards, and, ultimately, aligning with your company’s image standards

Want to learn more about factory audits for your company?

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