Among those “in the know”, mentioning the intent to pursue ISO (International Standards Organization) registration would definitely garner respect — but might also cause some trepidation. Understandable, as this reaction is most likely caused by visions of a daunting task consisting of meetings, discussions, audits, review of policy & procedure writing. Well, it is definitely not a walk in the park, but after having gone through the process successfully twice, we can tell you with confidence — not only has everyone survived, we have actually gained quite a few wins along the way since our initial ISO 9001:2015 registration in 2017. In fact, we are happy to announce that we have just earned our three-year recertification! AND we have found the entire process to be positive & helpful towards our overall goal of continuous improvement.
When you get the QMS (Quality Management System) ball rolling in your organization, you immediately see how the momentum can develop. There is an energy injected into every process as staff look for and develop ways to increase efficiency while they work without changing the routines that are producing desired results. Personnel become more engaged and feel accountable for company performance and quality. And whenever you have process ownership, you are going to have good morale.
You cannot downplay the significance of that, especially when you set our accomplishment in the context of a global pandemic and the economic & political turbulence that we face today. As we view the scene from behind our face masks, social distancing protocols and quarantines, the rules of life have changed, and uncertainty continues. While we can’t say that we predicted a pandemic, as an ISO 9001:2015 registered company, we did already have an operating mode in place which prepared for unexpected change .
Our Best Testimony to That
In the midst of the pandemic, when many companies hunkered down, downsized and even mothballed production lines, O’Keefe Controls Co. actually expanded our production to meet the immediate needs caused by the pandemic. In reaction to the shortage of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for healthcare workers, we deployed our 3D printing capabilities to provide face shields for local area hospitals. Our engineers rose to the challenge of developing — and very quickly — producing devices for use in ventilators. And make no mistake — these products conform to the stringent standards for repeatability and reliability that define the O’Keefe Controls Co. brand.
With production demands increased in this vital area, the safety of our staff was a top priority in ensuring our production lines would never go down. And in fact, solutions initially implemented due the pandemic, such as increasing the number of workstations to avoid staff having to share the same area, have actually caused overall expansion of our production lines and capability. Continuous improvement — even in a pandemic!
Our ISO 9001:2015 certified QMS, with its focus on continuous improvement, has helped us turn adversity into opportunity, allowing these gains to happen. All while never missing a beat in customer satisfaction, efficiency and total quality.
Stringent Adherence to Exact Standards Pays Off
O’Keefe Controls Co. earned its initial ISO 9001:2015 registration for its QMS in 2017. The company conducts routine audits as a way to ensure it is in conformance with every aspect, every clause of the entire process. Yearly surveillance audits by a third-party ISO registrant are conducted and O’Keefe Controls Co. has passed every one. And then there is the three-year recertification which we just received.
ISO 9001:2015 is the most updated version of the standard; it focuses on a quality management system’s structure and performance. It assists companies in developing a robust quality management system that aligns quality with a wider business strategy. The current version of the standard emphasizes risk-based thinking and accountability in all organizational processes in order to improve effective communications and to facilitate continuous improvement.
An updated copy of the O’Keefe Controls ISO 9001:2015 certificate is available for download at https://www.okeefecontrols.com/quality/. For more information on O’Keefe Controls Co.’s registration contact Jim Fleming, Lean Quality Coordinator, at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 800.553.3285.
Based in Monroe, CT, O’Keefe Controls Co. is a world-class producer of precision orifices and fluid control devices used in a wide range of liquid and gas flow metering applications.