Does ISO Certification Matter When Choosing a Supplier?

February 27, 2020


Why Choose an ISO-Certified Contract Manufacturer?

We work with many types of customers at Laclede Chain who incorporate chain into their businesses in different ways. We serve OEMs that incorporate our chain into agriculture equipment, commercial fisheries that use marine chain to lift nets from the ocean, construction companies performing overhead lifting operations, and trucking lines facing the harshest winter conditions, to name a few.

While these customers represent many different industries with different needs, they share one thing in common—they trust us, their chain supplier (and any contract manufacturer they might work with) to deliver the quality people expect from their brand and to provide them with chain and assemblies that will keep their employees safe.

ISO 9001:2015 Certification Ensures Quality

To give customers confidence and protect their brand, many manufacturers choose to implement ISO certification of their quality management system (QMS). ISO, The International Organization for Standardization, is an international standard-setting body with representatives from various national standards organizations. ISO is responsible for establishing over 22,000 existing business standards. If you work in or with manufacturing, you are probably most familiar with the 9000 family of ISO standards, which addresses various aspects of quality management.

ISO 9000 standards provide tools and guidance for companies that want to ensure they maintain and continue to improve the level of quality of their products and services. ISO 9001:2015 is the most current version of the standard. Companies must implement the following in order to earn ISO 9001:2015 certification:

A structured system for consistent review of manufacturing processes to identify and take action on opportunities for improvement
Established standards that define what acceptable quality looks like in a product
Training programs and resources for employees so they can execute their jobs correctly
Quality checkpoints such as product audits, internal measurement, and regular feedback from customers
An internal corrective action and review process that ensures problems are fixed satisfactorily and aren’t repeated

How ISO Compliance Impacts Your Chain

Now that we’ve demonstrated how ISO certification helps manufacturers deliver quality, let’s discuss how our ISO certification at Laclede affects your chain.

Safety & quality testing. We utilize several systems for verifying the safety and accuracy of your chain. For tensile strength properties, we perform periodic destructive testing as well as 100% proof load testing of the chain to ensure that every link has been load tested to a value well above its working load limits. We check to evaluate that the welding on our links is strong enough to withstand demands in the field so you can keep your operations or equipment running and keep your employees safe.

We also calibrate our chain to ensure the length of our links consistently remains within tolerance, based on the specifications of the particular chain being made. This process is performed on automated equipment to reduce human error and maximize productivity.

Employee training. Every Laclede Chain employee undergoes a structured training process. We incorporate on-the-job training as well as written and video materials to ensure all of our team members are well-educated on their roles. From the office to the plant, we know that a quality product and great service can’t happen without excellent training.

Consistent quality. At Laclede Chain, we have a quality team whose role is to perform continuous audits of our chain and fittings according to an established set of guidelines. If any product fails to meet our requirements, it undergoes a quarantine process that prevents the inferior batch from entering the supply stream. Then, our team works together to execute a root cause identification and corrective action process that ensures mistakes aren’t repeated. This process ensures that you always receive chain and fittings that meet or exceed the standard of quality you’ve come to expect from Laclede Chain…every time.

So…Does ISO Certification Matter?

Selecting an ISO-certified supplier for your chain (or other contract manufactured products) can significantly mitigate risk for your organization. After all, you’re putting the reputation of your brand and the safety of your employees in the hands of your suppliers. Would you prefer to select the one who’s done their homework to provide you the very best quality?