Product and Service Quality
Product and Material Quality Assurance
Quality specifications and quality assurance are of prime importance to the Group’s production processes. The Group’s products are subject to stringent quality control tests before they are sold. Quality control tests are also performed during the production process to ensure that the items meet the Group’s quality requirements. In general, quality control is handled by the quality control teams of each brand who are responsible for performing such testing and inspection as well as collaborating to enhance supplier quality control capabilities through collaboration.
Product quality control process
The Xtep brand has adopted the ISO 9001-certified quality management system to standardize the production process. At the research and development stage, the Standards teams perform thorough tests and verification of the products and the materials used and formulate standards for mass production. In 2020, the teams continued to formulate and review different quality management documents to enhance the quality management system and built an Xtep Quality Information Sharing Platform to realize the standardization of the management and implementation of quality management documents between the Group and its suppliers.
At the production stage, dedicated quality management teams monitor the quality and safety of the raw materials and finished products from both the suppliers’ and the Group’s production lines. The quality management teams perform regular quality control activities during the in-house production process and inspect regularly the product quality of our suppliers to ensure that the finished products pass physical and chemical standards before being delivered to customers. Every quarter, the raw materials and finished products will be sent to nationally certified third-party laboratories for testing to ensure product quality and safety.
For other brands where the production processes are entirely outsourced, we have established separate quality control policies to standardize quality control processes. In general, quality tests are performed by our quality management teams either upon arrival of the products at our Quanzhou Logistics Center or directly on-site at the supplier factories.
Enhancing product quality control with suppliers
To enhance the Group’s overall product quality control, we actively assist our suppliers in building their quality control capabilities. In 2020, various seminars and training were provided to Tier 1 and Tier 2 suppliers to convey our quality management standards and processes. We also collaborated with nationally certified third-party laboratories to provide technical training to suppliers’ laboratory operators to enhance their professional knowledge. In 2020, more than 1,300 supplier representatives attended the training and seminars provided by the Group.
We also continue to support our suppliers in their efforts to establish or enhance their testing laboratories. In 2020, we helped over 50 suppliers establish certified laboratories, including different apparel and footwear suppliers of the Group.
After-sales quality management
We stand behind the products we deliver and have established clear policies on how customer complaints and product defects should be handled. Any customer complaint received at our retail points, through the “400 Hotline” or other communication channels, will be addressed in a timely and proper manner by our customer service team. In 2020, the “400 Hotline” received approximately 3,000 product and service-related complaints, which were properly handled per our internal procedures.
We also have in place policies for products that are recalled due to quality issues or other reasons. Any major product recall will be comprehensively investigated by the Quality Management Center, and the investigation results will be submitted to senior management and the relevant departments. Responsible departments will implement appropriate corrective measures to mitigate the defects identified and prevent future incidents from occurring. In 2020, there were no major product recalls due to health or safety reasons.
Protecting Intellectual Property and Consumer Privacy
We respect intellectual property rights and endeavor to protect the Group from reputational damages arising from the infringement of its intellectual property. In managing intellectual property rights, we abide by relevant laws and regulations such as the “Patent Law of the People’s Republic of China” and “Trademark Law of the People’s Republic of China”, and have in place a dedicated team to monitor and handle with any infringement of the Group’s intellectual property. We also have high expectations of our suppliers and have included confidentiality clauses and other specifications in supplier contracts to protect the Group’s intellectual property and patents.
We also strive to protect consumers’ personal information, and have formulated and implemented various internal policies strictly according to laws and regulations including the “Cyber Security Law of the People’s Republic of China” and “Personal Data (Privacy) Ordinance of Hong Kong” to manage and protect the safety of our consumers’ personal information.