As Quality Management System Specialist, Amber Beer is responsible for managing the Division Quality Program in accordance with customer and company requirements.

Like many companies around the world, UI is certified to the ISO 9001:2015 quality management standard. If your company is certified, you already know what this certification means. But if you don’t, here’s a general overview:

The goal of the standard is to get companies to think holistically and systematically. While the standard is committed to quality, it’s not about product quality. Instead, it’s about describing, understanding, and communicating company processes. The goal is to improve consistency of operations across the board, with an emphasis on leadership engagement.

In this brief write up, we explain how the ISO 9001:2015 standard has changed UI’s culture and how we work – and what it means for our customers.

Listening to employees; implementing suggestions

Everyone at UI is focused on consistent quality and continuous improvement. One thing we’ve done as a company is listen to employees and implement their suggestions. Not only does this make them feel like part of the team, but it says their ideas are valued. They can also witness how the new process improvements reduce waste and streamline how we do business. All of this adds up to better quality and happier customers.

Improved process for quoting new projects

One area of continual improvement is how we record information. We want to ensure organizational knowledge is available to all employees on the floor. We’ve learned that if information isn’t shared, or if the person with the information leaves the company, we’re left making the same mistakes or relearning processes that have already been resolved. By recording information, we reduce wasted time and improve quality – which translates into lower costs for customers.

We’re also improving our process for quoting new parts. When sales receives an RFQ, they may not know all the particulars involved in manufacturing the part. Our process now includes having each person involved, from engineering, machining, casting, etc. review the quote / part and then give their input. This thorough review reduces the chance of not having clear requirements upfront and also allows sales to quote things much more accurately.

Removing duplicate processes; improved efficiencies

UI eliminated duplicate production paperwork that could cause errors due to double entry. This paperwork was something we had been using for years and wasn’t really needed. By eliminating the duplicated effort, it improved quality, which in turn means happier customers.