For businesses that want to demonstrate that their products or services meet the quality standards expected by their customers, business partners, and others, ISO certification is a great way to do that. As stated on its website, ISO is “an independent, non-governmental international organization with a membership of 164 national standards bodies.”
The organization traces its origin back to 1946, when representatives from 25 countries gathered at the Institute of Civil Engineers in London and agreed to create a new international organization whose objective would be “to facilitate the international coordination and unification of industrial standards.” ISO officially began operating in February 1947, and is based in Geneva, Switzerland, .
As a measure of how influential and respected the organization is, in its nearly 75 years in existence, it has developed and published more than 23,000 international standards. These benchmarks cover virtually all areas of manufacturing and technology. Today, ISO has nearly 800 technical committees and subcommittees that manage its standards.
Rapport’s First ISO Certification
The overview of ISO above is provided to explain why Rapport chose to obtain ISO certification back in 2009. At that time, we already had comprehensive quality assurance processes in place, but we decided to be officially certified as meeting ISO 9001:2008.
Since we fully complied with the standard, all that was necessary was to document our processes and then maintain evidence of continued compliance going forward. We took those steps, thereby reassuring the customers that rely on us for custom wiring harnesses (or wire bundles) and other products that our operations adhere to not only our own high standards, but to those of a leading international quality organization as well.
Upgrading to a New ISO Standard
In 2017, we achieved the newest standard, ISO 9001:2015. Among the many benefits of doing so is that this standard has a risk management focus and places more responsibility on top management—a change that we welcomed, as our leaders are deeply involved in our quality assurance efforts.
ISO 9001:2015 emphasizes that it is important to continuously monitor risks in procedures and actions, and to recognize the potential downstream effects. While it is impossible to eliminate all risk, we strive to minimize risk in the areas most important to our customers and other stakeholders. Prioritizing preventative maintenance is one example.
What happens if a crimp machine goes down for maintenance unexpectedly? If the risk is that it could shut down production of a customer’s product for an unacceptable amount of time, we address the risk by maintaining redundant tooling or by scheduling maintenance outside of production hours.
Scorecards for Gauging Our Success in Meeting Customer Needs
Another way we ensure our custom wiring harnesses and other products are meeting customer needs is by using scorecards. The scorecard process gives us direct customer feedback on the main metrics that we have determined will address customer concerns.
Pricing, on-time delivery, and product quality are key factors that companies use to select their electronics manufacturers. For that reason, we track feedback in these areas to ensure we are offering competitive products and services.
Responding to Customer Requirements
In everything we do at Rapport, we are responsive to the ever-changing needs of our customers. That includes operational certifications. If a customer requires us to obtain or maintain a specific certification to become or remain a preferred supplier, we are happy to assess whether or not the certification is a good fit for Rapport.
Surprisingly, sometimes one certification’s requirements or best practices conflict with the requirements or best practices of another certification. Consequently, we weigh decisions about which certifications to pursue very carefully to ensure we are making the best business decisions to support our customers.
For example, we are currently exploring AS9100 (aerospace) and ITAR (military) certifications, and will make our decision on whether to obtain them based on how the choice will affect the companies that use our services.
Our full-service facility outside of Denver can produce top-quality custom wire harnesses and wire bundles, taking them from prototype to final packaging, quickly and cost-effectively. Contact Rapport, Inc. today to get answers to all of your questions about custom wiring harnesses and wire bundles!