IMEC Helps Area Diesel Service to Attain ISO 9001:2015 Certification
CARLINEVILLE, Ill., Oct. 30, 2020
Carlinville manufacturer achieves ISO 9001:2015 certification and sees improvement in work culture, customer satisfaction, and their bottom line.
CARLINEVILLE, Ill., Oct. 30, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Situation: After learning about the benefits of becoming ISO 9001 certified in 1993, Area Diesel Service Inc. knew it would be an advantageous path for them to take. However, no one on staff could seem to find the time to devote to pursuing certification.
It wasn't until one of their valued customers was acquired by a larger entity, who was ISO 9001 certified and required the same of subsidiaries and their suppliers, that the commitment to ISO certification re-emerged. To comply, that customer audited Area Diesel, and sadly, they failed. Not because of the quality of their products and services, but because none of it was documented, meaning they had no records of their quality processes. As a result, this customer had to resort to only continue doing business on a provisional and limited basis – unless Area Diesel became ISO 9001 certified.
Fast forward to three years later when Quality Systems Manager, Linda Leefers, came onboard at Area Diesel. She began the process of implementing some of steps required by the standard at that time, which was ISO 9001:2008. After a lot of heavy documentation, they were ready for their second audit. This time they passed, but the company still required Area Diesel to become ISO certified. Leefers remembers, "I got to a point where we were getting close, but we just couldn't get over the hump. I just didn't feel we were ready or that we could pass a certification external audit, and I didn't want us to fail. I wanted us to pass and I wanted us to pass with flying colors." Leefers and her team realized that in order to achieve the certification they needed a change in mindset. Not only keeping up with quality records but also embracing ISO standards as an intrinsic part of their culture. Area Diesel knew they could not do it on their own, so they called on IMEC to help ease the burden and move forward in their journey.
With guidance and assistance from helping hands at IMEC, Area Diesel was able to get over that hump and achieve the current ISO 9001:2015 standard certification. IMEC began the process by establishing where Area Diesel was at the time, then identifying and setting personal and departmental goals for the company to move forward on the ISO certification path.
The next step required matching with a registrar to register as ISO certified. One thing that Leefers knew they wanted in a registrar, was "somebody that's going to be a good fit." Being a small company with less than 50 employees who wear multiple hats, she wanted a registrar that understood and worked with small businesses. IMEC was able to provide a list of registrars they could vouch for – ones they had worked with or were referrals from companies that had positive experiences working with them. Leefers was grateful. "That was extremely helpful, and IMEC did match us with a registrar who we worked well with."
Anticipated New Sales: $100,000
Anticipated Retained Sales: $161,000
Jobs Created: 1
Jobs Retained: 47
Investments in Workforce Practices/Employee Skills: $5,000
Improved customer satisfaction
Improved work culture
IMEC is a team of improvement specialists who are dedicated to changing lives and creating a positive impact on Illinois' workforce and economy. With a mission to drive growth through enterprise excellence, they help organizations become more effective and efficient by identifying issues, developing and implementing solutions and providing the necessary support that will allow them to excel in areas of leadership, strategy, customer engagement, operations, workforce, and measurement and results. In 2019, they assisted 770 companies and created over 4600 jobs, resulting in over $435M aggregate impact to the Illinois economy. IMEC has seven offices statewide and 47 full-time industry improvement specialists. For more information, visit www.imec.org.
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