- July 8, 2015
- Posted by: Cheryl Rybka
- Category: Productivity
“Owens Leverages ISO 9001 Benefits as Recession Buster!”
Owens Machine and & Tool located in Lewisville, Texas is a medium-sized manufacturer of machined parts for a variety of industries. A state certified Historically Underutilized Business (HUB, and woman owned business), Owens makes parts ranging from small prototype or developmental to medium-large production runs.
Specializing in high tolerance machined components, industries served include oil exploration and discovery, entertainment/recording, Department of Defense, aerospace, medical, and semi-conductor. In business since 1986 Owens employs 35 employees working 3 shifts over 6 days per week.
Owens Machine and Tool has prospered, even in tough economic times, by being proactive instead of reactive. In 2008 they reconfirmed their commitment to developing and maintaining superior quality standards by pursuing registration to the ISO 9001:2008 quality management system (QMS).
Hoping to improve its business practices and increases its marketability to a higher level customer, Owens initially sought to implement the QMS internally. However after a challenging start they decided it might be better to investigate an outside source. One of their customers, recommended TMAC.
Owens boasts a highly skilled workforce and recognizes the value of each person’s contribution. To set the stage for a successful implementation and audit process, company culture needed to be addressed.
To add some discipline to the process, Owens put together a strong management team and dedicated them to meeting at least once a week during the project. These meetings were supplemental to the regularly scheduled TMAC facilitated meetings. Owens TMAC account manager Ruben Hernandez provided the company with important assignments to complete between site visits to keep the project rolling and on schedule.
TMAC worked with Owens to establish a data driven management approach by establishing key performance measures to monitor key processes on a monthly basis and take timely corrective actions for negative performances or trends.
TMAC worked with applicable personnel on ISO: 2008 requirements, standardized work practices, root cause analysis and internal auditing processes.
Owens President Danita Grill admits they had to scramble to get it all done because the QMS implementation was concurrent with production.
To up the ante on participation Owens coordinated team days with a series of contests and incentives. Owens didn’t want their employees to think that ISO was only a set of documented achievements. The intent was for long term buy-in: that the new and better processes of an ISO system were beneficial and here to stay.
TMAC guided Owens management team through the selection of a Registrar and subsequent audit. They passed with flying colors and received registration to the standard in April 2010.
Owens is pleased with the improvements to morale and communications – Owens President Grill indicates it’s approximately 75% better than when they started. She credits TMAC and new ISO standards as the catalyst. The framework is now in place for a successful teaming environment.
Owens is now positioned to procure higher paying bids. Staff is cognitive of how producing product right the first time every time and on-time leads to continued orders and sales. These efforts have also resulted in higher customer scorecards qualifying them as preferred vendors. Owens now knows what and how their customers’ metrics work and have demonstrated they can work within and exceed the required parameters.
• 24 jobs retained
• 9 jobs created
• 30% productivity increase
• $28K project investment
• Quality improvements
• Higher efficiency short run/difficult machine changeovers
• Continuous Improvement on Customer Evaluations
Owens knew they had to implement ISO 9001. Improving an organization takes time and effort from everyone. By beginning the process in 2008 they were prepared for the economic bumps of 2009. Seeking registration to ISO 9001 has impacted employees and the bottom line of the company.
Certification in AS-9100 is a future step envisioned by Owens, as well as continued investment in machines, equipment, and personnel.