Latest updates and stories from Bedfordshire Chamber of Commerce and its Members

Interfoam achieves quality standard

Written by Paula Devine | 17 Oct 2013

Chamber member Interfoam Ltd is in celebratory mood after achieving an industry quality standard.  Interfoam  recognised the importance of Business Management Systems to maintain and improve the effectiveness of our operation, and are currently registered to ISO 9001:2008 Quality Management and ISO 14001: 2004 Environmental Management and has maintained these systems for many years.

Compliance with these standards has proven to be the foundation on which we can build management systems that promote a high level of control over product quality and process improvement.

Interfoam currently supplies the Automotive industry with seating, NVH control (Noise, Vibration and Harshness) and insulation components. The decision was made by the board of Directors to invest and advance our Quality Management System to ISO TS 16949; to develop our Automotive client base and to be recognised as a reputable supplier throughout the supply chain, under this prestigious industry benchmark.

Interfoam anticipated that the TS 16949 accreditation would complement the existing Management
Systems, and allow enhanced focus on performance and potential growth areas. This would
also allow them  to involve and upskill their workforce, and develop a culture that engages the entire business towards continual improvement.

The journey of implementation in early 2011 was initially triggered by Paul Harman of ASA Business Consulting (Automotive Specialist Associates Ltd),whereby a complete review of existing procedures and processes was undertaken. These were then considered with the enhanced requirements of the  TS standard, in preparation for the groundwork towards the ‘readiness review’ by NQA. It has been a steep learning curve for the business,  but with perseverance and dedication from the Senior Management team and commitment from the workforce, Interfoam  began to introduce a training programme into each operational area.

The external audit process began in April with a successful ‘Stage 1’ evaluation by NQA, followed  by a rigorous four day ‘Stage 2’ audit of the entire management system. This was particularly thorough and probing, yet the auditor made the company  feel at ease and explained the rationale behind each decision and the value added business benefits.

In September 2013 Interfoam were presented with the certificate by NQA at their premises,  where they invited several industry visitors  from the SMMT and MAS, who provided support throughout the implementation process. The day commenced with a tour of  the facility followed by the formal presentation ceremony attended also by the Senior Management team, and then a hearty
buffet lunch which was thoroughly enjoyed by all.

Interfoam are still basking in a celebratory atmosphere as a result of the recent success, and looking forward to the future as Interfoam Ltd evolves the business into new territory. This is the first step of a new and exciting phase in Interfoam’s journey, and now the hard work really begins.

Topics: Bedfordshire Chamber of Commerce

Paula Devine

Written by Paula Devine

Paula is Head of Membership and Global Services at Bedfordshire Chamber of Commerce.

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