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Global Sourcing Drives the Need for Independent Testing

Does this sound familiar? A marketing leader in your organization identifies a product line extension that will broaden the breadth of your portfolio, allow you to enter target market segments, and give your customers products they’ve been clamoring for. All of this while making a decent margin. That’s all well and good until you start selling the product and start hearing feedback from the field that the product doesn’t exactly work in the application. That’s when this simple business model turns organizations upside down and the ancillary product line begins to pull resources away from your core business.

In a global economy, suppliers and customers are no longer separated by a short drive or flight, but by few continents. Shipments are planned months in advance and orders are taken by the container load. A company may use email as the primary source of communication. Specifications and drawings may be written in a different language or using different units of measure than the buying entity is accustomed. This creates tremendous risk for the buying and selling entities if the specifications of the product aren’t clearly transferred between the companies. This creates an opportunity for supply chain hiccups, strained customer relations, organizational confusion, transportation expenses, and potential legal implications and overall reduced margins. One way to mitigate this risk is to establish an independent testing protocol ongoing basis. Most companies know this, but how many really act upon it to mitigate risk and ensure a high quality supply?

Testing serves as a reference point; a set of objective results for comparing your incoming products and ensuring the quality of your outgoing products. It is not difficult to do and it doesn’t have to be expensive. It is a way to understand the properties of your products and those of your competitors, an important means toward gaining a competitive edge in the marketplace. You can design a program and get paid back for your investment with additional margin points and reduced material claims. The larger and more thorough the program is, the bigger the return on investment.

Why Independent?

An independent, third party can play a key role in a company’s quality system. It could serve as an arbitrator in & settle any “he said, she said” claims and have no bias. Also, an independent lab can ensure that the product you purchase is indeed the product you specified, including the chemical composition and performance. In each case, the results have always been eye opening for the client. In some cases, the study confirmed their current speculation based on field feedback. In other cases, it stopped the introduction of products before they became an embarrassment to the company and created financial liability.

Additionally, independent testing can serve as a check and balance and against an organization’s people and equipment that may or may not have the best practices in place. Independent testing of imported products also keeps an organization’s R&D focus on the products they are manufacturing locally and doesn’t misplace those valuable resources evaluating suppliers but rather focus on development of their own product lines.

From a cost standpoint, investing in testing machines and/or employee training may not be in the financial or capital budget from year to year. Therefore, establishing a protocol with an independent lab would provide a better return on investment. Additionally, the cost for consistent expertise is relatively trivial in comparison to the size of the financial investment that is already on the line.

The testing you need to compete and grow can be performed at a competitive price through an independent testing facility. By contracting with an independent laboratory, recognized in their field of specialization, you can be assured of impartial results. If that laboratory is also nationally accredited, you are confident the results are accurate because the lab's competency has been reviewed by a recognized third party. You can also count on their expertise to help you interpret the results.

Chemsultants can help you solve adhesive quality issues quickly and cost-effectively. Test your products with the industry’s broadest, most cost-effective resource for specialized adhesion testing. Our adhesive testing labs provide you with exceptional precision and versatility to test everything from adhesives and sealants to specialty materials and packaging.


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