Increasing Quality Standards in the Manufacturing Industry
January 16, 2014, 10:57 am -
As a manufacturer, it is becoming increasingly difficult to surpass the sales barrier that requires you to prove your products are reliable and safe. When a company from the manufacturing industry has the ability to meet and even exceed the strict standards imposed by CSA, OSHA or ISO certifications, they are letting the client know that they produce good quality product without sacrificing safety. As they meet the stringent manufacturing quality standards, smaller or mid-sized companies are given a chance to play in the same league with much larger competitors.
Throughout the world, customers are well aware of certifications and manufacturing quality standards. They also know what it takes for the manufacturer to acquire them. In addition, customers are also familiar with the benefits that a certified producer can provide. Within this context it is crucial for manufacturing companies to obtain their ISO certifications as more and more clients are making their purchasing decisions based on whether or not the producer complies with manufacturing safety and quality standards.
Manufacturing quality standards must be complemented by certifications that are designed to deliver a real template for improving not only the quality, but also the company, and its bottom line. Quality standard certified manufacturers can experience:
- A boost in sales through a variety of new opportunities enhanced by entering a new market with certified companies;
- An improvement of productivity as internal processes are better managed due to the certification process;
- An increase in the quality of their products, which is essential to maintain a continually growing happy client base;
- Highly trained employees that allow the company to establish quality standards over the long-term.
Although meeting manufacturing quality standards may sound intimidating, the whole process is not that complicated and it basically boils down to four crucial steps:
- Documentation Process - There are very strict governing organization guidelines that dictate how the documents need to be prepared. Documents usually involve quality manuals, detailed certification forms, and quality procedures. The documentation process is usually a detailed description of the company’s manufacturing process, procedures, and systems and involves a profound understanding of the manufacturing quality standards in the field.
- Train the Staff - While writing the documentation is not really what you may be looking forward to as a manufacturer, training the staff is a perfect chance to make sure your entire staff will be properly equipped for their role in the manufacturing facility. Staff training for certification will focus on the manufacturing quality standards and incorporating any new procedures that need to be introduced as a result of the documentation process.
- Practice New Standards - Before any certification audit can begin, you need to demonstrate to the governing organization, that you can live with and perform the new processes. The documentation and training leads to a set of changes and it is exactly what the governing organization looks to see in the company before starting the certification audit. Practicing with the new standards usually lasts a few months before the audit actually begins.
- The Certification Audit -The size of the company, as well as the complexity of the production processes dictates the number of auditors as well as the length of the inspection. Essentially, the auditor, or auditors, review the documentation, interview employees, and offer feedback on the improvements and changes. Major nonconformances as well as a number of minor nonconformances can lead to a denial of certification or failure of certification.Mike Earle