Power cords: a certificate says nothing
A nightmare for every company that imports products from China: receiving deliveries that do not meet the requirements. In 2008, we experienced that with a large order of power cords in spite of the VDE certificate...
At that time, we focused too much on ‘lowest price’ instead of ‘best price’ when tenders came in. This was the wrong choice, for which we have paid dearly!
In 2007, under price pressure by the customer, we searched for a new supplier of power cords. During a long and intensive selection procedure, we asked several factories for tenders, checked certificates and samples, and had third parties carry out audits.
That procedure led to the selection of Ningbo Yunhuan Electronics Group. It offered a good price and for more than eight years, it was in the possession of a VDE certificate for the power cords that we needed. We ordered 132,600 power cords from Ningbo Yunhuan Electronics Group... a quantity that is still engraved in our memory.
We commissioned an external company specialised in checking power cords to test the power cords before dispatch to the Netherlands. Nothing strange was revealed.
Our customer also commissioned VDE to test the first delivery of the power cords. What emerged was that in spite of the factory’s VDE certificate, the power cords did NOT comply with the VDE requirements! Consequently, we had to scrap 132,600 cables and had to compensate our customer for the damage incurred.
Tampering with VDE samples
When we lodged a complaint to Ningbo Yunhuan Electronics Group, we received an astonishing answer:
"We are surprised to know your customer sent samples to VDE test! Actually, there is seldom products can pass VDE test if you select samples form mass production, the samples for VDE test should be made especially, so they can pass VDE test.
The VDE test products are much more expensive than common mass prodcution, your customer should inform us when they need samples for VDE test, we can make TEST samples for them, but we haven't known this until we see the test result.
any way, we have to discuss this matter with our manament mext week to find solution to solve this problem, as you know, the cables were made, we can not sell to others. Please kindly forgive this situation.
We are looking forward to establishing a long term relationship with you!"
In other words: Ningbo Yunhuan Electronics Group manufactures a set of samples especially for the VDE test, which differs in quality from the actual delivery. And that delivery is therefore substandard.
Continuing to cheat
VDE has withdrawn the certificate of Ningbo Yunhuan Electronics Group for this specific line cord. However, affiliated sister companies and subsidiaries (such as Ningo Aurich Electronics, Ningbo Ousheng Electric and Ningbo Qiaopu Electronics) continue to manufacture power cords. Therefore, in our opinion, they continue to cheat their customers.
We have learned our lesson the hard way, but we will never make that mistake again. Since then, we are even stricter in selecting our suppliers, we visit them more often, and we carry out our own audits, deploying all the knowledge and experience in our organization. Furthermore, we only enter relationships for the long term.
After all, we want to be 100% certain that we are acquiring the proper quality. Only after that, the price becomes a factor of consideration.