In 1997, Standard Electric Supply Co. received its ISO certification; to be used as its framework for continuous quality improvement for the company. In 2004, this certification was extended to SE Automation and Vision Controls and Automation.
“We made ISO the foundation of our company for ongoing process improvement, not just a paperwork process,” said Cassie Petty, Vice President of Quality Assurance.
The ISO system has become an important part of our business culture. Petty believes they have adopted a unique implementation of the ISO system.
“Within ISO you will find there are not a lot of musts. They just give you guidelines and you can do as little or as much as you want,” said Petty.
SE Automation associates are introduced to the system on their first day of work as part of a detailed orientation program established for all associates.
A Quality Management System has also emerged within SE Automation that focuses on ongoing process improvements. It has created a quality driven environment and encourages associates to be involved in the development and improvement of daily procedures.
“ISO makes us accountable for what we say we are going to do and also allows us to evaluate processes on an ongoing basis,” said Petty.
Under the guidelines of ISO, SE Automation has implemented a system for reporting and resolving any non-conforming events within the company. These events are entered into a database and evaluated on a monthly basis.
“Each non-conforming event is reviewed and addressed by a manager. In addition, if multiple similar non-conforming events occur we issue a corrective action,” said Petty.
The corrective action is a formal request to a manager to examine a function and determine the root cause of the issue. Managers then advise on a course of action.
In addition, preventative actions are an essential part of the system.
“Preventative actions deal with any potential problems we may encounter. We try to look ahead to eliminate future problems too,” said Petty.
The non-conforming events, corrective actions and preventative actions are not just terms to SE Automation, they are processes that are lived by.
“ISO has created an environment that focuses on ongoing improvements. It ensures our customers receive reliable solutions on a consistent basis,” said Petty.