Shipments of selected merchandise are subjected to random-sampling inspections at various the Exchange warehouses and suppliers’ facilities around the world. Each sample is examined for product safety and conditions that may adversely affect the appearance, serviceability, or customers’ acceptance of the item. Shipments failing QA inspection are either cancelled or re-inspected after the supplier corrects the deficiencies. Various types of merchandise inspected are clothing, furniture, toys, small appliances, sporting goods, outdoor living items, luggage, jewelry, military clothing, giftware, shoes, etc. On any given day, our inspectors or contractors perform inspections anywhere from New York to Hong Kong.
Now, how do we know which shipments to inspect? Well, inspection statistics are constantly added to the QA database. A list of those suppliers, whose quality is beyond the Exchange control limits, is generated daily. QA specialists scrutinize these suppliers closely; inspection efforts are redirected, and the appropriate the Exchange buyers are notified of the problem suppliers.
We also inspect shipments from new suppliers until a satisfactory quality history is established. Standard Inspection Procedures, on a variety of merchandise, are available upon request to the Exchange suppliers.
Exchange Sampling Plans are available to current or prospective suppliers.
Exchange sampling plans are derived from MIL-STD-105E or ANSI / ASQ Z 1.4, Sampling Procedures and Tables for Inspection by Attributes. This standard is also known as ISO 2859-1, Sampling procedures for inspection by attributes - part 1: Sampling schemes indexed by acceptance limit (AQL) for lot-by-lot inspection.
Exchange sampling plans are designed to provide maximum inspection productivity while maintaining a high degree of random sampling reliability. Plans are provided for Acceptance Quality Levels (AQLs) of 2.5, 4.0, and 6.5 percent defective and are extracted from Inspection Levels I and II of the above standards. The acceptance criteria for the smaller (of the two) sample sizes in the Exchange sampling plans are based on Level I, tightened inspection, while acceptance criteria of the larger sample sizes are based on Level II, normal inspection. The rejection criteria in all sample sizes of the Exchange sampling plans are the same as that of Level II, normal inspection.
Acceptance Quality Levels (AQLs)
All Hardlines Merchandise
Jewelry, Shoes, Clothing, Softside Luggage and any Cut & Sewn Item
Extra Value, Budget, or Entry Price Point Type of Merchandise
An AQL means that as long as a supplier maintains his / her process average (% defective) at the assigned AQL or lower, there is a very high probability that shipments from that supplier (inspected using the Exchange sampling plans) will be accepted. Conversely, there is a very high probability that shipments (inspected using the Exchange sampling plans) will be rejected if a supplier's process average (% defective) remains higher than the assigned AQL.