Garrett Leather recently earned ISO 9001 Certification for our Quality Management System. ISO refers to the International Standards Organization, which is an independent, non-government international group. It was established in 1946 to coordinate and unify industrial standards. ISO 9001 Certification sets the criteria for a customer-focused quality management system.
Why ISO 9001 Certification?
Garrett Leather has always maintained high quality standards for both products and services. In addition, we have continuously looked for ways to improve over the years. ISO 9001 certification confirms our commitment to providing the highest quality of products and efficient, accurate service. We pursued this internationally recognized certification for numerous reasons. It keeps our quality standards at the forefront, holds us accountable for our actions, and propels our continuous improvement efforts.
What is required to earn ISO 9001 certification?
The process began with an in-depth review of all of our internal processes and procedures. We audited every department throughout the entire organization. During this thorough examination, we defined and documented specific procedures within each core process. For example, we carefully analyzed and documented our process for selecting vendors. We also clearly detailed specific quality requirements.This exercise improved communication and set clear expectations for all of our approved vendors.
Additionally, employees received in-depth training in many areas. The training included details about the certification, documentation and procedure logs, and the evaluation process. One key component to ISO 9001 certification is the ability to measure, document, monitor, and analyze data. By frequently reviewing and analyzing data, we can clearly recognize areas of strength and identify opportunities for improvement.
Lastly, we implemented a number of new initiatives as a result of the ISO 9001 certification process. One new initiative in place is the “My CI” program. Employees regularly submit continuous improvement ideas. These ideas may address process improvement, product improvement, safety, efficiency, team building, etc. Every week, the My CI Committee meets to discuss these ideas and takes appropriate steps to implement them. Another new initiative in place is our monthly Balanced Scorecard evaluations. During these evaluations, we measure success across the key areas of the business utilizing key metrics.
What is required to maintain ISO 9001 certification?
Certification is valid for three years. It requires top management to perform regular internal audits. These audits confirm that we are properly documenting and following our quality standards. In addition, an outside third party performs a comprehensive audit every three years to confirm that all quality standards are in compliance.
What does ISO 9001 certification mean for customers?
ISO 9001 certification means that you can continue to expect the same high quality standards on a consistent basis. Qualified customers may request a copy of our updated quality manual. Furthermore, we closely monitor and analyze all areas of the business on a monthly basis to ensure our quality standards are consistently met. In fact, we are happy to report that we currently maintain almost a 97% customer approval rating. You receive peace of mind knowing that you can expect the highest quality with every purchase.