VANCEBURG, KY – October 31, 2016 – Plant Manager Thomas Hein and Quality Supervisor Goldie Rowe know about progress and commitment. It took them more than two years to prepare and implement the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) requirements for the plant’s 9001: 2008 Certification, which it received on September 29 and was notified of its finalization on October 18, 2016.
The new status for the plant supports clear managerial and operational procedures across all departments.
“With ISO we generate programs and follow up with actions. Procedures become black-and-white versus a potentially gray problematic area. It makes it easier for managers to educate and communicate with hourly staff so that there is less confusion. Our colleagues have developed the confidence to discern whether they are following protocol,” says Hein.
Rowe, a former Marine platoon sergeant, played a significant role in implementing the ISO system. She had prior experience with ISO at a different plant as well as a two-year apprenticeship. Rowe and Hein collaborated to prepare the plant to pass the necessary audits conducted by a third-party registrar.
When ISO efforts began in 2013, Rowe prioritized revising the plant’s forms and documentation procedures along with composing work instructions for Total Housekeeping Management and the 5S system. Getting feedback from colleagues was essential, she said. “In order to lead you must follow. Buy-in is important in order to make the program effective. We don’t just want to do the minimal requirements.”
Lastly, Hein and Rowe set up Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for non-production departments and Standard Work Procedures (SWPs) for production workstations. The latter was written by a floor operator. Rowe shares that acknowledging individuals’ skills and how they might benefit the entire team was essential for certification.
Hein notes a difference now in the plant. “It’s like night and day from a cleanliness standpoint. Morale is higher and people are just happier, in general. To see how it has affected employees is amazing. Everyone, including our hourly staff, understands the importance of certification and was really excited about completing the whole process. Now standards are being consistently enforced.”
Coroplast, part of Inteplast’s World-Pak division, makes corrugated plastic sheets for the graphic arts, automotive, packaging, agricultural, industrial, and automotive industries.
About Inteplast Group
Established in 1991, Inteplast Group is a leading integrated plastics manufacturer founded on the ideal of American manufacturing. Our products support diverse markets including healthcare, foodservice, packaging, building products, grocery, retail, sanitation, industrial, and graphic arts industries. Headquartered in Livingston, N.J., Inteplast Group is now over 7,000 employees strong and operates over 50 facilities including our flagship manufacturing complex in Lolita, Texas. Our dedicated and experienced people are committed to delivering quality products and partnering with our customers to enable their success. Visit https://www.inteplast.com for more information.