Gemco Valve recently announced the company’s certification to conform with the ISO 9001:2015 quality management system standard for the design and manufacture of industrial valves.
A few years ago, the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), an independent, non-governmental group of voluntary members who are recognized standards authorities and represent more than 150 countries decided to facilitate the participation of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the ISO process. Jim Lenihan, Gemco Valve president, saw this as an opportunity for the company to benefit from ISO’s state-of-the-art technology, quality, environmental, and management practices. “Although ISO 9001:2015 is a generic quality management system that can be applied to any kind of enterprise, it was previously used mostly by big companies and governments. But Gemco Valve has a growing number of international customers and we saw how the potential benefits of certification would offer an advantage for SMEs as well as large corporations and knew it was the way for us to go.”
By benchmarking common standards across nations, ISO facilitates world trade. Currently almost 20,000 standards covering everything from manufactured products and technology to food safety, agriculture, and healthcare, have been set by the organization. These standards not only support manufacturing products and providing services that are safe and good quality, they also help businesses increase productivity and reduce errors and waste. Because products from different markets in a variety of countries can be directly compared with each other, it is easier for SMEs to participate in the global supply chain on a more level playing field. These standards also provide consumers and end-users a reliable indication that certified products conform to minimum standards which are set internationally.
“The process is not one to be taken lightly,” said Lenihan. “Our first step was ensuring that our team was fully cognizant and prepared for the upcoming process. We made sure they were aware of the expectations and quality objectives as well as the processes they must use to achieve them. When you are incorporating Quality Management Systems into a new way of doing business, the objectives and benefits of ISO 9001:2015 Certification must be clear every step of the way. Then there’s finding the right help, preparing for the audit and then the two-stage audit process itself. This has been a major undertaking for us. Of course, we knew that going in and felt strongly that the results of obtaining certification would be worth the investment.”
Gemco Valve is now certified to a globally recognized standard that will allow the company to provide confidence to customers without them having to perform their own audits to ensure compliance.
Lenihan concluded “The takeaway is that getting our ISO 9001:2005 certification is not the end of the process, in many ways it’s the beginning. We are committed to continuous improvement in every operational and customer service area...and we are looking forward to expanding to new markets.”Gemco Valve Co.