How to navigate international QC: lessons from scaling Lion Pose

Lion Pose

Lion Pose co-founder Nisha Phatak discusses the importance of clear and precise documentation for effective QC overseas.

Quality Control is complicated for any founder, even if your production facility is right next door. These days, most production is overseas, rendering in-person QC nearly impossible for brands. 

That's why we sat down with Nisha Phatak, Co-Founder of Lion Pose. Below, she unpacks her key suggestions for how founders can optimize QC efforts — no matter where they occur

Let's dive into her insights. 

“One of the first things I recommend doing is finding a trusted partner as early as possible. It saves a lot of headache and heartache throughout the production process and sets any business up for success.” 

Nisha’s QC framework for success

Nisha recommends that all founders find a trusted QC partner with boots on the ground as early as possible

Many founders understandably want to stay as close as they personally can to the production process. However, a hands-on or in-house mentality can sometimes yield overconfidence. You understand your product — but you may not understand overseas production.

QC may be harder to manage than you think

Nisha points out that the Lion Pose team was initially overconfident about their ability to manage their vendor in China from afar. 

The physical distance and lack of information quickly humbled them. She reminds us that native English speakers tend to assume everyone shares their level of fluency, which is simply not the case. So much is lost in translation when communicating with manufacturers abroad through WeChat. 

Ultimately, you should turn to a trusted QC manager who understands your local market, your product and brand, and (most importantly) your spoken language. They can build those in-person relationships and be a source of truth for you. 

What to look for in your QC partner

The team at Lion Pose turns to Factored Quality as their trusted QC partner. They leverage FQ to not just simplify quality assurance, but to elevate the process.

Clear, precise documentation is key

Every time FQ runs a QC check, they provide Nisha’s team with a follow-up report. This serves as a clear window into the overall quality of production at the factory. So, they retain a clear record of how each production run concludes. 

With effective documentation, you can put pen to paper on the changes you need to see — setting expectations on the percentage of goods you most likely won't accept.

Find a QC partner who prioritizes communication

Prior to FQ, the Lion Pose team worked directly with an inspector in China, communicating entirely on WeChat. As a result, their working relationship felt complicated and disjointed. Today, Nisha emphasizes the value of FQ’s easy-to-use scheduling portal, which feels seamless and professional. Having vetted several QC providers, she believes this offering is one-of-a-kind. 

Her team receives regular email notifications about their QC schedule. If anything shifts, they are alerted immediately. Nisha explains, “That level of communication their automated software lends is unique in the QC space.” It gives the brand full confidence in the partnership. 

“Typically, with QC providers, they may be this invisible helper you chat with on WeChat or WhatsApp. They may occasionally provide reports. But I think having a portal set up like Factored Quality makes things seamless and professional.”

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