(Desk of Matt Hamilton – QC Manager)
Introduction: As I write this update, the Quality Department has already started out on our goal of securing the ISO 9001:2008 certificate. The ISO efforts affect every area of our business, so as you might imagine everyone’s cooperation is very much appreciated. There is a lot of activity to support this from all over TC, and I appreciate the cooperative tone that everyone has. As I mentioned in my last newsletter, “Continuous improvement is the heartbeat of today’s successful business, and it begins to take on a dynamic all its own as one thing leads to another.” I am very pleased to be able to say that I see that dynamic taking shape all over Tank Connection. As we develop and mature the Quality system, we have already begun to reap the benefits of the improvements we have worked so tirelessly to implement, and those improvements will continue to gain momentum throughout 2011.
Measurement: A simple definition of measurement would be that it is the process or the result of determining the range or scope of a quantity or an amount relative to a unit of measurement such as quantity, dollars or time. We may not give it much thought, but we gauge everything in our lives by some kind of measurement. We are comfortable with years, hours, minutes, speed limits, dollars, pints, quarts, gallons, or weight. The familiar concept of determining how large or small something is changes somewhat when you approach it from the perspective of a business, but it is still basically the same. The challenge is how is it possible to define conditions such as poor, adequate, acceptable or excellent? The answer is very straightforward. Define what is expected, and then set an objective to communicate the expectation. One of the essential elements of the ISO certification is the measurement of performance against benchmarks that are set by executive management. Objectives set the tone and define the expectation for the business system. This information allows management the opportunity to address performance (good or bad) and provides management the tools necessary to form an effective response that is both prompt and effective.
Completion: By the time this is released, it is likely that TC will have had our first audit by our ISO Registrar. Any issues identified will either be in the process of being addressed, or will have been addressed and we will continue toward the final implementation. The dynamics (or benefits) of our “Continuous Improvement” model will gain momentum once we have achieved the ISO certification for Tank Connection, and we will continue to improve our business system. The successful completion of the ISO certification process for TC is the beginning of the journey that will allow TC to grow stronger, and to compete even more effectively in markets we serve. Our planned time frame for completion of the initial ISO 9001:2008 certification is April of 2011 and that is right around the corner!