Everything we do at Megladon Manufacturing revolves around quality and continual improvement, from our processes and patents to our principles. This focus on quality and the methods we use to achieve it can be summarized as a Quality Management System, or QMS. To better explain what goes into our QMS and how it’s evaluated through ISO certification, we spoke with our Quality Manager, Ted Neil.
What is a QMS?
A quality management system (also known as a QMS) allows the company to monitor its own processes and verify that they are following them- it’s the idea of “plan it, check it, do it.” This affects every aspect of a business: what suppliers you buy from, how you train your staff, how you test your products, and how you ship your products. It even goes all the way up to how management tracks these processes. This system is thought through and evaluated constantly, because the goal of any Quality Management System is continuous improvement.
What are the key elements of a QMS for a custom cable manufacturer?
As stated above, Megladon Manufacturing’s QMS touches every aspect of the business with these as a few examples:
Management Review & Documentation:Management has to be able to know what is going on at all times throughout the company. Having proper documentation processes and keeping those updated is essential to making sure that the company is running smoothly.Employee Training: Megladon Manufacturing keeps a matrix of all employees called a Versatility Checklist with notations as to what parts of the fiber manufacturing process each employee is certified to work in. This checklist is constantly updated with employees’ skills being added and tested.Purchasing & Supply Chain: We maintain a database of approved vendors and continuously review supplier performance based on factors such as order quality and timeliness of order delivery.Maintenance & Calibration of Fiber Optic Test Equipment: We inspect every piece of fiber that comes off our floor and we provide documentation of our products to our customers so that any issues can be traced. We also have processes in place to make sure our testing equipment is calibrated and provides accurate reports at all times.Shipping: Megladon Manufacturing constantly evaluates our shipping times as well as the other factors that allow us to fulfill rush deliveries, such as supplies and staffing levels.Customer Satisfaction: It is Megladon’s stated goal to maintain at least an 80% customer satisfaction rating quarter over quarter, with our average usually around 95%.
How is a QMS (Quality Management System) evaluated for a US-based fiber optic manufacturer?
Rather than having a client keep up with all these processes and their respective evaluations, companies use certifications from organizations like ISO as a sort of shorthand that can attest to standards they’re held to.
Megladon Manufacturing is ISO 9001 certified. This standard relates directly to quality management systems, and in the words of Underwriters Laboratories (UL), “is based on a number of quality management principles including a strong customer focus, the motivation and implication of top management, the process approach and continual improvement.”
The way Megladon Manufacturing becomes certified is by having a 3rd party auditor, in our case DQS, come out to our facilities every 3 years to perform a full audit. Prior to their visit, we send them documentation of all of our processes for them to look over. It’s from these documents that they conduct an in-depth inspection and interview with various members of our team. In the two years in between these full-scale audits, they conduct a surveillance audit that focuses on a few key areas such as purchasing, production and calibration.
What makes our quality management system ‘special by design’?
It’s important to keep in mind that audits and certifications are merely tools we use for our goal of continuous improvement. Through certifications, our customers have the benefit of a level of expectation they can assume when they see them listed. Megladon Manufacturing has the benefit of a third party that can act as an outside pair of eyes when it comes to evaluating our QMS so that if there is a mistake we never make it twice.
It’s also important to note that while a ISO 9001 certification is an important and useful tool for evaluating businesses, millions of companies have this distinction. Yet not all Quality Management Systems are created equal. Because of this, Megladon Manufacturing and its sister companies go the extra mile by inviting prospective partners to go beyond that initial certificate and see our processes at work through their own visits and audits.
What our visitors find on their tours is a family of companies driven to provide the best value to their customers. Here lies one of Megladon Manufacturing Group’s greatest strength – our sister companies all have their own QMS that they are constantly improving upon. We share these improvements and innovations with one another constantly so our customers benefit from a system that’s been shaped by the leading minds in a variety of industries.
Striving to create the best possible processes and products is a key element of our company culture as well as a shared goal for every member of our team. The quickest way we communicate that to our customers is through our ISO certifications. We don’t stop at the audit though. We’re constantly improving through our own inspection and through inspiration gained from our sister companies’ QMS.
Curious to see our processes at work? Schedule a tour today.