As a consumer brand, your product quality determines your reputation. Full stop.
Knowing this, you don’t want to leave your quality control up to chance. You want to work with proven experts in product quality, manufacturing, and supply chains — the type of operators who’ve ‘been there, done that’ and can empathize with your experience as a startup brand.
Luckily, those are the only people we hire at Factored Quality.
Today, we’re sitting down with two experts on our internal team to give you a closer look at the unmatched QC knowledge powering Factored Quality.
Vishva Somaya, Operations Manager (North America) at FQ, works with brands daily after half a decade in product, quality, and repair process engineering at a leading aerospace company under his belt. Milena Keratsinova, Operations Associate at FQ, supports Vishva’s team after directing ops and engineering for heavy-duty manufacturing, machinery, and construction companies.
Below, the pair dive deep into topics like:
- How being founders themselves drives their passion for helping FQ users
- The FQ ethos of long-term, meaningful relationships with brands
- Why FQ is different from your average Band-Aid QC solution
Let’s dive in.
“It goes back to the relationships we build: We don’t take things at face value and run with them. We want to understand your day-to-day ops, the issues you experience, and all aspects of your job. Then, we see where we fit in to make your life easier and your products stronger.”
Every FQ employee has personally experienced our users’ pain points
Vishva and Milena don’t mince words: From the “all-star” team to our company-wide mission, they love working at Factored Quality. As Milena shares:
“Coming from a corporate world, I’ve seen good and bad teams. For a startup to be so aligned and motivated — it’s the best. Factored Quality is just a great group of people. It’s incredible how 15 individuals spread across the world can be so close and work dedicatedly for the same thing.” - Milena Keratsinova, Operations Associate at Factored Quality
They chalk this collective passion up to one fact: Nearly every person on the Factored Quality team has personally experienced and worked through pain points of manufacturing, global supply chains, and quality control at an SMB.
In other words, we truly get it. That’s why Vishva and Milena love solving these problems and making a difference for other brands.
FQ isn’t just operators. We’re founders like you.
Before joining FQ, Vishva launched a hardware startup during COVID-19. Since his team couldn’t travel to inspect their suppliers in China, he remembers, “We had little-to-no visibility into our manufacturers.” As a result, they wound up receiving more than one batch of defective parts, which taught Vishva two things:
- Poor production quality nearly tripled the assembly time for each unit. This is a make-or-break problem for smaller companies.
- Brands need to be proactive — not reactive — with something as crucial as QC.
Down the line, Vishva met the Factored Quality team and fell in love with our ability to prevent other founders from facing the same challenges. He was on board almost instantly.
Similarly, after working for years as an engineer and architect, Milena ventured into founding her own CPG brand: Abaca Botanics. She had known for years that something was missing from the quality control equation, and this came back full circle as she struggled to find reliable suppliers and manufacturers for her products. Today, she tells us:
“I like to joke about it: ‘Where was Factored Quality three years ago — when I was trying to start my CPG gig in the middle of COVID?’ Now, I get to see the contributions we as a company make to improve products and processes, and even help manufacturers become better at what they do for brands.” - Milena Keratsinova, Operations Associate at Factored Quality
Factored Quality becomes a true extension of your day-to-day business
Reflecting on their startup experiences, Vishva and Milena point to a challenge that’s all too common: As the solo founder of a small brand, you often feel like you’re navigating quality control alone in the dark while your manufacturers are oceans away.
Today, at Factored Quality, the pair deeply resonate with our ethos of user support: Daily communication with every client is the standard. Client-facing workloads are divided based on each FQ employee’s time zone, allowing maximum real-time comms with brands during their regular business hours. “There’s not a day that goes by when I don’t communicate with at least multiple clients,” explains Milena.
This ethos prioritizes deep, long-term, and ongoing client relationship-building above all. As a result, every brand gains the tailored support, deep knowledge, and impact of an in-house QC team. Even better, “we can watch those relationships contribute to bringing in additional business and revenue,” Milena emphasizes.
“I hear a lot of companies say Factored Quality doesn’t just feel like a service they hired. It feels like we’re an extension of their team. Essentially, FQ is their quality control team, so we take pride in that and the deep relationships we build.” - Vishva Somaya, Operations Manager (North America) at Factored Quality
Brands give FQ immense trust and responsibility. We take that seriously.
The Factored Quality ethos of embedded client support works so well because our team understands how much trust brands give us. As a consumer goods brand, your product quality is the lifeblood of your business; it determines your brand reputation, customer satisfaction, return rates, and retention.
So, when clients trust us to run multiple steps in their supply chains (from manufacturing to inspections to fulfillment in some cases) and ensure a successful product experience, we take that responsibility seriously. For both Vishva and Milena, it’s the most motivating factor of the job.
For instance, Lion Pose came to FQ during a severe crunch time: They needed to work closely with their manufacturer in China before a $100k+ deal, but the Lion Pose team couldn't secure an expedited visa, threatening their tight deadline.
In response, FQ immediately launched into action, meeting the team where they were. Just days after a seamless 30-minute onboarding, we helped Lion Pose:
- Build a QC plan that aligned with scheduled shipments
- Begin in-person inspections that were equally efficient and precise
- Ensure products got on the plane ASAP
Our partnership kicked off only two weeks before Lion Pose’s retail deadline. In that time, Factored Quality went above and beyond to ensure the brand could save its six-figure deal and retail launch, accounting for over 50% of its forecasted annual revenue.
(Even more, this is only one example of how FQ does right by our trusted relationships with brands. Read more success stories here.)
FQ learns your brand inside and out to find opportunities for improved QC
Trust is a critical component of every client relationship at Factored Quality. That’s why we’ll never take your brand’s pain points at face value and stop there. Instead, as Vishva explains, the FQ team emphasizes deep conversation and personalized onboarding.
We start by learning every step of your day-to-day workflow and production. That way, we can identify all opportunities for improvement and tailor an expert-level QC strategy to your brand and product. This is especially important given that it’s too easy to normalize the bottlenecks your team sees daily. For instance:
- Something as minor as your supplier changing one tool in the assembly process can cause downstream issues and inconsistencies. In response, FQ gets ahead of this by ordering an in-line inspection.
- On multiple occasions, brands have reported inconsistent shipment counts by 3PLs or fulfillment centers. In response, FQ offers in-house inventory count services.
Whatever you’re facing, the Factored Quality team puts in the time, attention, and expertise to get to the heart of the problem and resolve it.
FQ provides personalized, expert-level QC solutions — for both brands and suppliers
The FQ team proactively seeks opportunities for brands and their manufacturers to level up their supply chain and production practices long-term. To do this, our team:
- Becomes your brand’s eyes and ears — Startup brands are too overloaded to babysit every detail. That’s why FQ acts as your eyes and ears in product quality, flagging repetitive issues based on inspection reports and analysis of your QC data and then suggesting the best possible solutions given your available resources.
- Helps suppliers improve QC for countless brands — FQ offers services like RCA (root cause analyses) and CAPA (corrective and preventive actions) to improve production processes and provide manufacturers proactive strategies for preventing potential quality issues.
Ultimately, Factored Quality is far more than a traditional Band-Aid solution for quality control. Factored Quality is the partner you count on for decades of supply chain expertise, tailored strategies to standardize your product quality, and airtight QC operations.
“We offer services at Factored Quality to help not just the brands but also the suppliers to become better at manufacturing and improving production practices. We’re working to open people’s eyes to actual opportunities for long-term improvement.” - Milena Keratsinova, Operations Associate at Factored Quality
Want to see how our passionate team can level up your quality control?
Book a free demo today to join 100+ leading brands that partner with Factored Quality.