Thirteen years ago I was asked to go to a company and have a chat with the owner about carrying out ISO 9001 quality audits for a small, relatively new company. The floor space was similar to that of a 3 bedroom semi-detached house.
Every year since, each time I arrive, I’m met with the words “we’re a bit bigger this year” starting with small advances, perhaps renting part of a neighbour’s premises, then they decided to buy small unit which was sitting on a large plot, which meant that each year a new bay had been added until the point came when, on my journey to the audit, I was wondering where another extension could go, I could only think upwards. I was wrong, they had purchased an empty unit on the same industrial estate. This success has continued throughout the recession to a point where they now occupy almost 30% of the industrial estate.
The answer to this success is Quality, and good communication, rigorous inspection patrols, frequent meetings with all staff, so that everyone knows what is happening and when, first class software systems for tracking materials through each stage of operation through each stage inspection through to delivery and customer feedback with everyone in the loop, and customer feedback taken seriously.
For this company, sorry, group of companies, their standards are taken seriously as is their constant goal of continual improvement from every corner. All driven by everyone in the team, headed by Carl Wakelam, known as First Components Group Ltd, currently a growing Oak tree, needing space for a forest.
Another company on the list of the many that we are proud to call “valued customers”.