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Dock Audit Checklist for Ensuring Product Quality

An effective dock audit checklist ensures that your finished products comply with the contract requirements before they are sealed, boxed, and shipped to the customer. Simplify your quality check by using digital templates.

See our ready-made templates:

Dock Audit Checklist Template

Quality inspectors and officers can use this dock audit checklist to check if products comply with design specifics, item inclusions, and special customer requests prior to shipping.

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Loading Dock Safety Checklist Template

Safety officers can use this loading dock safety checklist to ensure that the loading dock is free from preventable hazards.

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Check Sheet Template

Use this adjustable template for your quality management to monitor ongoing business processes on a weekly basis.

Download template

Quality Objectives Plan Form

Use this plan form to formulate and design Quality Objectives for your business. The targets should be frequently checked and reassessed.

Download template

ISO 9001:2015 GAP Analysis Checklist

This gap analysis checklist will assist you to prepare for certification according to DIN EN ISO 9001:2015.

Download template
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What Is a Dock Audit Checklist?


A dock audit checklist is a tool for ensuring the dock audit procedure is performed effectively. The dock audit procedure is done on products that are ready for shipment to ensure that they are compliant with the contract and product specifics.


Dock audits also verify the effectiveness of end item controls and process testing. Whether big or small, any company must conduct dock audits because this procedure helps improve the quality and profitability of your product.


An effective dock audit procedure also boosts customer satisfaction and loyalty. It helps you avoid customer complaints and safeguards your reputation as a top-quality product manufacturer. A strict audit procedure also contributes to your team's commitment to consistently producing high-quality work.



In this article, the following points are explained:


1. The goal of dock audits


2. How to perform a dock audit procedure


3. Advantages of a mobil app for dock audits


Men consult about a dock audit

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What is the goal of a shipping audit?


Quality audits have three categories, system audit, process audit, and product audit. Dock audit falls under the product audit category, which evaluates the final product on its ability to meet the expectations of your customer.


The goal of performing a dock audit is to determine that the final product does not have any defects and meets the contract's requirements. If a product does not meet the contract requirements, the inspector must document the findings.


The dock audit report must include all issues and suggestions for corrective action to solve the problem. The corrective action the inspector might suggest includes product improvement or further testing. They might also suggest additional audits before the product goes through the dock audit. Each time it is performed, findings must be listed, and a report must be submitted to the management.


Almost every single part of your quality system affects the product's condition. Your dock audit procedure will show you proof of the effectiveness of your quality control system. During the dock audit, you will be looking at the product the way the customer receives it.


A well-planned dock audit checklist will produce products that comply with the contract and product requirements. The less effective the checklist is, the more likely your customer will find errors in your products. This will lead to product returns which could hurt your relationship with the customer. If the defect rate is higher than you expected or if the same defect occurs repeatedly, it is time to evaluate your quality system. These are signs that it is not effective in solving quality problems.


You can perform dock audits as often as you wish. There is no regulating body that governs dock audits. And dock audit is not a requirement for IATF 16949:2016. However, it is a crucial step in ensuring that your end product meets your customer's specific requirements.



How to Perform Dock Audit Procedure


There are three aspects that your dock audit procedure must evaluate:

  1. Product design
  2. Physical inventory count
  3. Special customer requirements

When evaluating product design during a dock audit, you must check for compliance with dimensions specifications, color, deformities, damage, and scratches. You must compare the finished product against the design specifications detailed in the contract. This will ensure that the product meets the customer's needs and that it can meet its purpose.


The second thing to evaluate during the dock audit is physical inventory count. A physical inventory count is an organized approach to counting the number of products, which will be shipped to customers. Physical inventory count can also involve weighing and measuring the product. You must have a system in place for counting the goods before you send them out to your customer.


There are various ways you can do inventory counts. These methods have their benefits. Choosing the right technique for your company so that you generate accurate and appropriate data for your dock audit report.


Manual completion uses pen or pencil and paper to record physical inventory. It may cost less than the other type, but it comes with a high rate of errors. On the other hand, electronic counting uses barcodes, scanners, RFID, or mobile devices. It reduces errors that come with manual completion.


The third consideration in the dock audit procedure is customer-specific requirements. These are the customer's requirements that they expect you to implement during the manufacturing process. Customer-specific requirements have the following categories:

  • Part-specific requirements, such as measurements and dimensions, materials used, and performance characteristics.
  • Delivery requirements
  • Boiler-plate requirements as specified in the purchase order
  • General requirements according to Production Part Approval Process (PPAP) - Quality-One (PPAP) or Advanced Product Quality (Planning APQP)
  • Process requirements are documented expectations, targets, and specifications identified by the customer.

Either the design or manufacturing documentation will provide information about process requirements. A Process Specification can be drawn by the Design Engineer if there is a need to specify a particular process. They can do this through tool drawings, production floor layouts, test equipment drawings, inspection procedures, assembly instructions, and fabrication instructions, to name a few.


Your dock audit checklist must ensure that your manufacturing process follows all these requirements specified in the contract or design documentation.


Manufacturing process is a planned procedure intended to produce a product with specified quality. Compliance with the manufacturing procedure is verified during the dock audit. ISO 9000 standards may not require a specific number of times you do a dock audit. Still, it requires that you perform audits that determine the effectiveness of your quality system and the corrective actions you take after discovering any issues.


Remember that the dock audit procedure must be performed by someone who is not part of the production process. It would be best if you had team members assigned to this job. Internal auditors can be useful in judging product quality. Their objectivity makes them fit for the job and effective at finding areas for improvement.


Passing the dock audit procedure means your manufacturing process is effective. Otherwise, the dock audit checklist must be able to identify defects before the final product is packaged.


Man packs after a dock audit a product

A Mobil App for Dock Audits and Documentation


Every manufacturer knows how important quality assurance is for products to meet customers' expectations. At the same time, it takes a lot of effort and expense for companies to keep a continuous and functioning quality management system in place.


Dock audits help your business identify problems before they reach your customers. In addition, the data you collect during your audits can provide you with valuable insights to improve the overall manufacturing process, reducing the likelihood of errors occurring in the first place.


A mobile app and desktop software like Lumiform gives you both the benefits of an effective dock audit and the benefits of a paperless office. Digitize your dock audit checklist and enjoy the following benefits:


  • The flexible form builder helps you convert any paper list into a dock audit checklist within minutes.
  • Run dock audits with the Lumiform app from your smartphone or tablet, even when you're offline.
  • Record photo evidence of non-compliant product features, annotate them, and make detailed notes to make your report more vivid.
  • Assign and track corrective actions to colleagues in real time to resolve issues faster.
  • Save and secure your audit information in unlimited cloud storage.
  • Share your automatically generated reports with select employees after each dock audit to increase transparency.



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