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Process audits

Production and customer processes at the steel fencing systems manufacturer Zaun have been through audits recently – by customers, the security ratings standards body and an international certification agency.

Firstly, the Wolverhampton-based firm’s processes have been re-certified to the 2015 standard of ISO 9001 by auditor Bureau Veritas. The 2015 standard puts more emphasis than its 2008 predecessor on stakeholder impacts and requires greater awareness of risks by the manufacturer.

Conversely, the scrutiny by the Loss Prevention Certification Board at the Buildings Research Establishment (BRE) is about the security performance of products in their actual installed state. Zaun’s SR product range has been re-accredited to SR4 to SR1 ratings. And a long-standing customer in the Critical Protection of National Infrastructure (CPNI) sector has given an endorsement.

Quality control and health and safety manager Dave Sayers, who has driven continuous improvement at Zaun, had developments to put in place for the new ISO management standard, with the emphasis more on people, training and the environment.

He says: “This has to be driven from the top, so senior management have to be on board to ensure we embed a passion for people, training and the environment and a focus on quality and excellence throughout the organisation. The first thing any auditor does is to interview a director to ensure there is senior management buy-in.”

Bureau Veritas gave Zaun a ‘flying colours’ re-certification of its ISO 9001 with only a couple of observations for improvement. Zaun reports that it has undertaken extensive work through its continuous improvement plan to understand its processes and how they interact and impact on each other. It is now monitoring that all deliveries arrive right first time, which includes them being on time, in the right quantity and of optimum quality. It has also introduced KPIs for complaints handling and is so far performing pretty favourably.

Sayers adds that the drive is never ‘for the sake’ of getting certification but is rather driven by customer demands.


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