Cost effective Quality Assurance programs for down and feather products are a challenge because the material is a natural product and very non-homogeneous.

Objectives of a Quality Assurance Program

  1. Make suppliers aware that testing will be ongoing. If suppliers know that testing is ongoing, by the receipt of test reports with problems, etc., the supplier will likely meet or exceed product specifications.
  2. Verify that products meet retailer specifications.
  3. Verify that products meet government regulations.
  4. Ensure that products can meet advertising claims.

Retail Testing Programs

Retailers and distributors have developed a variety of testing programs. Some of the current testing programs include the following:

  1. One retailer has the warehouse staff at each of 3 distribution centers pull one sample from every shipment and send to IDFL.
  2. Some retailers pull 3-4 random samples from each product group.
  3. Another retailer does random testing. If a problem is found, 3 pieces of each size are pulled for more comprehensive testing.
  4. One manufacturer tests one sample of every type, style and size of finished products. Random samples are taken from warehouses and retail shelves.
  5. Some retailers require the manufacturer to complete extensive testing, and the test certificates are forwarded to the retailer.
  6. Several retailers require the manufacturer to send samples at the beginning of a production run to IDFL for testing. This is followed-up with random spot testing of products after shipment.

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