Working Together to Achieve Company Goals
How does a company with 7,500 employees at manufacturing and distribution facilities located across the United States and in Canada, Mexico, Honduras, and China work as a unified organization to achieve goals?
Southwire, a privately held, $6 billion electrical industrial manufacturer based in Carrollton, Georgia, had to answer just that as they grew both organically into new markets and through acquisition. They sought to solidify their core values and culture when the need became apparent with new markets and new people and facilities.
Rich Stinson, Southwire’s CEO since 2015, began the ONE Southwire campaign as a means for them to act as a unified company by sharing their values, culture, commitment and processes to provide the best solutions to their stakeholders.
“We approach all our efforts with an eye toward meeting the ONE Southwire principles” said David McDonald, Director of Global Quality for Southwire.
McDonald, who has been with the company for over 25 years in a variety of technical, operations, and quality roles, has the responsibility for the quality processes and systems, including the ISO 9001:2015 certification.
Southwire began ISO 9001 registration in the early 1990s with a “bottom up” approach, having each facility develop a full quality management system that met their individual needs. With the 2000 version of the standard, they began to centralize their efforts and have accelerated those efforts in recent years with the ONE Southwire campaign as well as the 2015 version of the standard. Now with 27 locations on their ISO 9001:2015 certification, there are new challenges that came with the revision.
“Our biggest challenge relative to 2015 has been moving to a risk-based, process-oriented QMS from a QMS that was, to be honest, oriented toward maintaining registration rather than providing a highly effective management system for Southwire” McDonald said.
The pursuit toward the ONE Southwire goal of developing truly common processes across the organization continues even after achieving the initial upgrade to ISO 9001:2015.
As ISO 9001 has evolved over time to become more risk-oriented, Southwire had to adapt as well.
“We have had to rethink much of our approach to our QMS to find ways to more effectively embed the management system into our very culture and pull together all the efforts across the company into an organized, clearly defined, common management system” McDonald said.
Milliken Celebrates 25 Years of ISO 9001 Certification with DQS Inc.
Consistently manufacturing the same quality product requires dedication to supply chain management with robust standard procedures. At Milliken, we achieve this through ISO 9001 certification, which we have third-party verified through DQS, Inc. for 25 years. The reason is simple: it’s good for Milliken’s business, customers, and communities.
Through the ISO 9001 framework, Milliken can provide consistent, quality products to customers in the many industries we serve around the world. It ensures the products that Milliken customers order tomorrow are of the same outstanding quality as what we manufactured yesterday, and the products they relied on five years ago. This consistency in quality is the hallmark on which Milliken prides itself to be a reliable industrial partner.
To Richard Ridlehuber, quality systems manager for the Milliken Chemical division, this consistency is imperative for Milliken Chemical customers. There are multiple factors at play when manufacturing with chemicals, and Milliken wants to assure customers that products are designed to conform with all relevant requirements and perform in all intended applications. In 1991, Milliken Chemical became the third U.S. company to achieve the most stringent version of ISO registration. Since then, we have continued to maintain ISO registrations amidst five rigorous standard updates to demonstrate that Milliken is a stable, capable, and reliable chemical ingredient supplier. It “ensures everyone — Milliken, our customers, and our customers’ customers — can achieve success.”
ISO certification is a mainstay for both Milliken businesses, associates, and communities for Brett Turbyfill, who oversees quality both internally at Milliken as well as externally at Milliken suppliers. “If we have robust plans in place to create quality products, and we have engaged associates to help the company improve how we operate or exist within our world, then we feel like it will be a better place for everyone,” he shared.
Heather Sensiba, quality director for Milliken’s Performance & Protective Textiles division, agreed that ISO’s rigorous certification elevates Milliken from competitors oftentimes more than price. “Ensuring quality through ISO standards is not taken lightly,” she said. “It holds Milliken to the letter of the ISO standard, which is incredibly strict, and ensures safety, quality, and performance come first over competing priorities.”
For 25 years, Milliken has proudly partnered with DQS Inc. to examine our processes so that they can be as robust as possible. Our longstanding collaborative history challenges Milliken to push forward each year through objectivity, which according to Brett, is key to achieving quality manufacturing. “You need another perspective to see how you can learn and grow. We want our programs to be scrutinized so that they done well and done right. DQS Inc. helps us achieve this.”
Milliken is ready, willing and able to invest in quality through the time and commitment of our valued associates. We thank DQS Inc. for being a forward-thinking partner in our quest to deliver the best possible innovations for Milliken customers. For 25 years, Milliken has proudly partnered with DQS Inc. to examine our processes so that they can be as robust as possible. Our longstanding collaborative history challenges Milliken to push forward each year through objectivity, which according to Brett, is key to achieving quality manufacturing. “You need another perspective to see how you can learn and grow. We want our programs to be scrutinized so that they done well and done right. DQS Inc. helps us achieve this.”
Milliken is ready, willing and able to invest in quality through the time and commitment of our valued associates. We thank DQS Inc. for being a forward-thinking partner in our quest to deliver the best possible innovations for Milliken customers.
(Submitted by: Milliken)
IATF 16949 Lessons Learned and Clarifications
We are definitely on an exciting journey together by way of IATF 16949. We have made it through transition on are on our way to the first wave of round 2. Along the way we have received clarifications for the IAOB and VDA. My focus is to share some of the lessons learned and clarifications that will help everyone to continue to move forward and prepare for ongoing compliance.
Translators: It is required that if there are employees that do not speak the language of the audit or if the auditor does not speak the language of the audit there must be a translator. Twenty Percent (20%) must be added to each area using a translator. Supervisors and managers in the company are not acceptable translators. This was a VDA nonconformance during a witness audit. I am currently working with the VDA to clarify. The immediate future we must use one of the following: 1) translation device provided by the auditor or the organization. 2) external 3rd party hired by the certification body (CB/DQS). 3) external 3rd party hired by the organization that will be under total control of the auditor. Please let the auditors know in the planning phase if translators are needed and in which processes they will be required.
Consultants: Consultants are acceptable to use in developing and maintaining your QMS. However, during an audit by your CB, consultants cannot be on site. This is per the rules 5th edition.
Remote location support: This has been difficult for many organizations especially those that have multiple sites and remotes that interface. Please consider this as one interaction matrix controlled by a single source. Everyone should be aware of this matrix and have access to it. Corporate schemes are required to have this interaction matrix. One of the biggest gaps are the understanding of support activities between locations. We are matching the support activities identified on the certificate to the support location CB audit reports. If they are not in alignment, non-conformances are issued by the auditor.
Remote location audits by the CB: If the remote is being audited in conjunction with a site and the remote only supports that site being audited then the remote can be included in the sites report. If the remote supports even one additional site, there has to be planning and reporting separate from the site. In other words, the remote must have its own planning activities by the CB and a separate report identifying clearly the supporting functions it provides for each site it supports.
Corrective action responses to the CB: There needs to be significant improvement in this area. I presented at AIAG Quality Summit September 18, 2018 on this subject. Please go to www.aiag.org (log in, go to events, past events, AIAG Quality Summit 2018) and download the presentation. I believe this will help everyone understand what is required. We are also working on a guidance hand out for our auditors to provide clients each audit on responding to corrective actions issued by the audit team.
Process identification: People are still struggling with identification of processes. I recommend putting the standard and CSRs in a cabinet and locking them away until you have identified your processes. Processes should be identified by the team. Processes should be in the naming convention that people use to refer to them on a daily basis. Before you worry about mapping in the standard and customer specific requirements (CSRs), identify your processes. This should clearly describe your business and their interactions. Too many people are still trying to align everything to the standard first. This is not the intent. Define who you are and then figure out where the standard and CSRs fit.
I hope this helps for everyone to move forward to smoother and focused activities in achieving and maintaining certification to IATF 16949.
Article By Cindy Soltis