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Quality Control Procedures

Global Source Technology Quest, Global Source Technology's Total Quality Management (TQM) program, is our way to improve quality and service in every aspect of our businesses.

Global Source Technology Quest, Global Source Technology's Total Quality Management (TQM) program, is our way to improve quality and service in every aspect of our businesses. Global Source Technology Quest is a systematic, company-wide approach to continuous quality improvement, resulting in our customers' total satisfaction.

Global Source Technology Quest is viewed as a continuum - a dynamic combination of elements designed to meet the constantly changing needs of each customer. These elements include leadership, total employee participation, customer-driven quality, management by fact, and continuous improvement.


Packaging and labeling standards have been established for specific device types to prevent mechanical (bent leads, chipped bodies, etc.), ESD, and solderability damage as well as to clearly identify the product throughout processing. These standards are summarized below:

  • Innermost Packaging - Antistatic tubes, foam, or JEDEC trays. Product in tubes must all be oriented the same way and must not be loose in the tube. If the product cannot be placed in a tube, then it may be cushioned with antistatic foam to prevent lead damage or placed in a custom designed JEDEC tray in which the devices are held in place by another JEDEC tray.
  • Intermediate Packaging - Product in tubes must be placed in static-shielding bags. An ESD caution label and a pick ticket must be adhered to the intermediate package.
  • Outermost Packaging - Intermediate packages for an entire order must be cushioned with environmentally safe filler material when placed in the shipping container.

Note: Product will be kept in manufacturer's original standard packaging whenever possible, since reduced handling decreases the likelihood of product damage.

All moisture-sensitive product is packaged in dry pack packaging, which includes a moisture barrier bag, desiccant, humidity indicator card, and special labels according to manufacturer and industry specifications.


All orders are checked for part identity, packaging, and documentation. Proper ESD protective packaging and labeling is prepared in accordance with the Global Source Technology packaging and labeling standards.

A computer-controlled order consolidation process is used before the product is sent to packing. Bar code scans ensure that all picks are properly consolidated before being sent to the predetermined packing stations. The computer system will not allow the order to be processed unless a second bar code scan is performed ensuring that all items are present and that there is no mixing of items in the order. Military products are packaged with proper documentation.


Inspections are performed by Quality personnel on an audit basis at pre-determined points (Receiving, In-process, Final) in the process flow. The sample size selected is based on SPC data and can only be adjusted by the Quality Manager.


In value-added operations (Assembly, Programming, Kitting, Computer Integration) there can be more in-process inspection points due to the complexity of the process flow.

A documented system and separate area exist for receiving inspection. Inspectors inspect to written instructions, including up-to-date prints and specifications, where applicable.

There is no functional (electrical) inspection. One hundred percent of all incoming receipts are visually inspected at receiving inspection for identity, count, packaging, condition, and documentation. A more in-depth physical inspection is performed on a sampling of incoming supplier receipts based on supplier historical performance. MIL-Std-105 sampling plans are used.

Receiving inspection data is collected and used for statistical process control. The data is also sorted by supplier and used to prepare a supplier rating report. Inspection for a particular supplier may be loosened or tightened based on the supplier rating.

Accepted material is clearly identified and sent to stock. Rejected material is also clearly identified and placed in a segregated "defective" location to prevent use before being dispositioned.


Pre-determined in-process inspection points are set up after the receiving, storing, and picking processes. This inspection is performed by an in-process inspector or auditor who collects the data and uses it for statistical process control. The purpose of the in-process inspection is to further pinpoint problems with the system that need correction and also to identify errors earlier in the process.

The receiving, storing, and picking operators have also been trained to perform their own in-process inspections before they perform their normal tasks. The procedure requires them to verify part number, packaging, and documentation before continuing their work.

When an error is identified, a reject ticket and a data collection form are completed. The rejected material is identified by the reject ticket and segregated. The errors are corrected by the operator at the previous operation and corrective action is annotated on the reject ticket. The corrected items are then re-inspected.


A documented system is in place in accordance with MIL-I-45208. Inspection is performed by trained inspectors who have not performed the work. A detailed inspection is performed on outgoing orders using a checklist for both picking and packing inspection criteria. Some criteria are inspected 100 percent and others are inspected in accordance with MIL-STD-105. Although a random sampling of outgoing orders is generally chosen for final inspection, the QA Manager may determine that 100 percent inspection is warranted. The loosening/tightening of the sampling plan is the responsibility of the QA Manager. The data collected at final inspection is used for statistical process control and quality reporting.

All special handling orders are inspected 100 percent for the special customer requirements in addition to the normal inspection criteria.

Rejected material is identified, documented, and segregated. Items are then corrected by the pick/pack operator and re-inspected.


A documented system exists which outlines how non-conforming material is dispositioned and how discrepancies are resolved.

Non-conforming material is identified and segregated to prevent mixing or use. Disposition of receiving inspection discrepancies is the responsibility of the Product Manager. The Product Manager must work through the franchised supplier and QA to resolve the discrepancy. Final inspection discrepancies are resolved through definitive procedures and supervisory involvement. The ability to pinpoint errors through operator accountability and SPC data aids in the corrective action process.


All customer returns are sent by the customer to designated Return Centers and are inspected 100 percent for identity, count, packaging, damage, documentation, and reason for return. All returns are dispositioned within 24 hours. Credit data is captured and used for quality and cost of quality measurements.


A documented system to prevent Electro Static Discharge (ESD) damage to devices exists. This control system is in compliance with EIA-625 and includes:

  • ESD warning signs displayed
  • ESD-protective apparel: heel and wrist straps, smocks
  • ESD-protective equipment: conductive flooring, static-dissipating work surfaces or mats, grounded equipment
  • ESD-protective packaging: static shielding bags, conductive totes
  • ESD work area kept clear of all unnecessary static hazards
  • All operators handling parts out of ESD-protective packaging do so only at a static-free workstation. The operators also wear gloves to prevent inducing soldering problems onto the leads of the parts. ESD-sensitive product is always transported in static-shielding bags or conductive packaging.
  • ESD training is given to all operators, who are ESD-certified for one year. The ESD coordinator, who monitors heel and wrist strap effectiveness and ESD-awareness operator discipline, performs the ESD audits. These records are kept on file. Corrective action is taken when needed to enforce ESD rules.


Customer orders with special requirements, such as selective date codes, special packaging and labeling, bar code labels, etc., are processed through Global Source Technology's special handling system. Customers set up on special handling are assigned a three-digit code to each applicable account number.

All special handling orders are automatically diverted off of the conveyor system into the special handling area, where trained operators perform the necessary operations and/or verifications per the special handling instructions. Special handling instructions are prepared and controlled by the Quality Department.

Global Source Technology uses a variety of quality measurement systems in all areas of the company, especially in the warehouses and value-added centers.

Global Source Technology uses a variety of quality measurement systems in all areas of the company, especially in the warehouses and value-added centers. "Internal" measures include Statistical Process Control of non-conforming material identified during audit processes, inventory accuracy, and same-day shipment percentage. "External" or customer-reported measures include Field Quality Reports, customer returns, on-time delivery, cost of quality, and customer satisfaction surveys. Supplier quality and on-time delivery performance is monitored on the Supplier Rating System.

Quality and service statistics and trends are summarized and distributed to all levels of management on a quarterly basis.


Any quality problem communicated to a field location by a customer is reported on a Field Quality Report (FQR). FQRs are available on email and are electronically transferred to the shipping location and Quality Department. All FQRs are logged and analyzed for problem root cause. A response is sent to the FQR initiator. If the customer requires a response, then it is the Quality Manager that responds to the customer. Overall FQR data are analyzed and trended to continually improve efforts.


Supplier performance is tracked and analyzed through Global Source Technology's Supplier Rating System (SRS). The SRS rates suppliers on both quality and delivery performance.

Suppliers are measured on lot acceptance at receiving inspection, on-time delivery, and defective line items shipped to customers. This data is provided to suppliers and is used to identify problem areas and track improvement efforts.

Supplier Corrective Action Reports (SCARs) requesting cause and corrective action are issued to suppliers for poor performance or for recurring receiving errors.


There are various types of formal corrective action that must be implemented in order to continuously improve the quality systems. These corrective actions include:

  • Customer corrective actions - formal responses to customers on orders in which their requirements were not fully met. These may be thought of as customer complaints.
  • Internal corrective actions - generated by the quality department and sent to another department requesting a written response. ICARs may be used for corrective actions on FQRs or SPC data.
  • Internal audit corrective actions - issued to facility management based on internal audits in order to ensure that facility quality systems are in compliance with Global Source Technology quality policies and ISO 9002.
  • Supplier corrective actions - issued to both franchised suppliers and subcontractors based on supplier rating system data and customer complaints, if applicable. SCARs are used to improve supplier performance.
  • Management review/quality report corrective actions - summaries of actions taken and status of quality objectives and plans from management review meeting and of recurring quality problems documented in quality review report.

The typical processes involved in implementing corrective actions are:

  • Analyze entire process, including quality records and customer complaints in order to pinpoint problem area
  • Investigate root cause of problem. Root cause generally must be process-related rather than operator-related
  • Initiate corrective action to process to prevent recurrence of problem.
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