Made For Trade’s renowned engineering-led ethos to fenestration manufacturing takes key next step by attaining valuable ISO9001 quality certification.
Keeping control of the details in a thriving manufacturing business is a key objective as a company undergoes expansion, and that control was a significant driving factor behind Made For Trade’s latest achievement: gaining the internationally-recognised standard of ISO9001:2015 with regards to quality control. The enviable accreditation is the latest in a multitude of steps that help to separate and elevate MFT from the competition via the transfer of processes, design and even staff from the high-tech automotive, motorsport and aerospace industries to manufacturing and glazing.
Whilst the term ‘quality’ is often seen to represent the aesthetic look, fit/finish or longevity of a product, in engineering terms it means a significant amount more; it is the discipline concerned with the principles and practice of quality assurance and control for both the product and service. The NQA Certification sets MFT apart as a result, thanks to the precise repeatability of every single aspect of how a Made For Trade product is designed, sold and manufactured.
Refining the business to gain the enviable accreditation has been the result of years of work, and particularly so in the last 24 months under the auspices of Quality Manager Jason Couse, who joined Made For Trade from a parallel role in engineering at the start of 2020. The steps and implemented procedures needed to satisfy the accreditation process across every single area of the business. This started right back with the experienced MFT sales team and the adoption of consistent processes for dealing with new enquiries, right through to the very last steps as the market-leading fenestration products leave the factory – even the optimised and refined method in which packaging materials are applied.
Chris Wann, Operations Director at Made For Trade said: “Understanding the importance of control in a larger business was paramount as MFT continues to expand. We recognised that a robust system which can provide validated data from all areas is necessary for our own feedback – and to make the informed decisions required for success. This is where the need for a documented and audited quality system came in.
“We brought in Jason Couse as our Quality Manager, who was tasked with supporting other members of the senior management team to document all business processes. It has been a challenging two years to get to this point but we are delighted that with Jason’s hard work and guidance the team has successfully achieved an ISO9001 certificate for Made For Trade. What is of key significance however is that we now have a rigorous quality system in place alongside that is tailored specifically to the business.”
What does this mean for the trade partner, installer or end consumer? The certification ensures that Made For Trade can now truly quantify their promise of offering the best service in the industry, thanks to an internationally-recognised standard proving that each and every product follows the same key steps from sales through manufacturing – each and every time. The mark is a formal recognition of MFT’s engineering-led ethos and elevates the company above the competition, whilst creating an in-house culture focused on customer satisfaction and continuous improvement.
Speaking of the new achievement, Quality Manager Jason Couse said “Having joined Made For Trade at the start of 2020, the rapidly expanding business already had a very good base to build on; the directors’ engineering background already helping create processes that were ready to be refined and formalised.
“My part was to build on what was already in place to provide a practical and workable Quality Management System (QMS) for improving, monitoring and continually improving all areas of the company, but also with one eye on meeting the requirements of the internationally-recognised ISO9001:2015. The first step was raising awareness of the standard across all members of the staff team and what it means for the organisation, before working with each department in turn to help create processes, develop training needs and identify risk and opportunities.”
The Quality Management System (QMS) includes all members of the business in one way or another and is driven from the top. Made For Trade’s directors have been a driving force for implementing the changes, whilst Operations Manager, Mike Robinson played a significant part in developing the standards within the quoting and order processing teams, and Frank Donaghy and Rich Bezance doing the same in the manufacturing environments. Furthermore, MFT’s Mark Thompson and Tracy Garrod received internal auditor training as part of the process to expand their skills and achieve recognised auditor standards of CQI and IRCA, with a focus on raising the internal audit practices and continually improving business standards.
Gaining the desired accreditation is of course only the start of the journey; ISO9001 is based on continually improving and optimising all stages of how the company operates, allowing Made For Trade to remain at the forefront of manufacturing and efficiency in the fenestration industry.