Contour Engineering’s ISO 9001 certification gives you confidence that their claim—on time, zero defects – is true. Quality products, every time, on time.

What is an ISO 9001 certification?

The ISO 9001 is the independently assessed international standard that lists requirements for an effective quality management system. Businesses that have this certification show that they produce a consistent product or service that meets not only the customer’s requirements but also all regulatory requirements.

In particular, it requires that the business has:

  • An effective quality management system that is well documented
  • Management that clearly explains key principles of customer commitment and quality objectives to staff
  • Resources that are used responsibly, with competent and well-trained staff
  • A product planning system which encompasses design, development, creation and supply with a focus on customer requirements
  • A measurement and analysis system with a constant drive for improvement.

It is a process-based standard, so when the process is followed, the end product meets all guidelines and quality expectations.

Why is ISO 9001 important to our customers?

Complying to ISO 9001 standards is not easy. It takes a lot of work to get to the standard required, and then consistency is required in order to maintain it. For this certification to be awarded, the company has shown a total dedication towards quality control systems.

Some of our customers require that all their suppliers are ISO 9001 compliant, as they know the certification guarantees a quality product, every single time. This helps them to reach their goals and deadlines too.

Customers appreciate the ISO 9001 standard as it means that they have confidence that Contour meets the standards required. There is confidence in the process, the outcome and the end product. Customers also know that the constant refinements and improvements in Contour’s systems mean that there are more cost efficiencies, a close to 0% error/ return rate, and products are delivered on time.

What challenges did Contour face reaching ISO 9001 standards?

Within the strict guidelines and standards that ISO 9001 sets out, it can be difficult to implement requirements consistently. Especially where staff are involved, as individuals can have different expectations that may not be up to the certification’s standards.

However, implementation of strict procedures tracked the product through the system which allowed management to see where problems were occurring. When errors were found, the accountability of filling out a non-conformance form meant that the rate of errors swiftly dropped. Staff learned to take responsibility for their stage in the process, which has resulted in high levels of compliance.

Direct outcomes of ISO 9001 certifications

While the process is about establishing systems, within that there are a number of measurable outcomes.

There is less wastage of resources. This includes both the raw product and also of staff time. As processes are streamlined and made more efficient, there is less waste of plastic, metal and the carbon fibre that is used in the manufacturing process. Similarly, staff have created more efficient processes that mean there is no wasted time.

This means that there are fewer overheads, which results in a more cost-efficient product. Less time wasted means the product is produced faster.

The constant striving for efficiencies means that staff are empowered to make positive changes to their product and the work environment. They are encouraged to adopt better practices and suggest changes to management. This not only improves the process but makes employees happier, making the workplace more productive and positive.

Customers are happier. This in itself is a great outcome, but it also means that no customer has ever left Contour to go to the competition. When you’re getting the very best, why would you go elsewhere? For customers, this means that you don’t waste time hunting new suppliers or switching from one to another. The consistency and quality of the product mean that customer and supplier grow together. If your company is growing, then so is ours, so we at Contour will do all we can to support that.

Because the certification must be renewed yearly, customers know the level of service and quality won’t drop. It’s only going to get better.

Ongoing growth and optimisation

Every year, Contour is audited by Telrac. They are independent contractors who check that all processes are being followed and strict guidelines are being met. This places Contour very well moving into the future, with a demanding focus on quality and an expectation of constant improvement.

This dedication to perfection means their customers get a number of benefits:

  • A high-quality product every time, with minimal or no returns/ flaws
  • On time deliveries, every time
  • These guarantees mean that Contour’s internal systems are better and their end product is far superior
  • Over time as processes are refined, the entire product design and the system is refined, resulting in cost and efficiency savings.

An ISO 9001 certification basically means that Contour cares about their customer satisfaction, and is constantly pushing to be better than themselves. Staff are happy, Telrac is happy, and most importantly, the customers are happy.

We work with some of the most innovative companies in New Zealand. This, of course, demands highly competitive manufacturing capabilities to realise the potential and opportunities for our clients. In order for us to succeed in the rapidly evolving global manufacturing landscape, we embrace a targeted approach to some of the key elements of manufacturing competitiveness in our quest to deliver our brand promise of “On Time with Zero Defects”.

In our previous blog, we talked about the role manufacturing plays in the value chain. But how do we as a company ensure we do not break the value chain?

Over the past three GMCI (Global Manufacturing Competitiveness Index) studies, CEOs consistently ranked ‘Talent’ as the most important driver of global manufacturing competitiveness.

Source: 2016 Global Manufacturing Competitiveness Index – Deloitte

As talent is ranked as the most important driver of competitiveness by executives around the world, the competition among nations and companies is, as expected fierce. Contour Engineering’s brand promise is only possible if we continue in our relentless drive to find and employ the best talent. Some of our learnings over the last few years:

  1. Ensure talent is “the” top priority. You need to focus on creating differentiated talent acquisition, development and retention strategies to be regarded as an “employers of choice”
  2. Get clear on the behaviours you expect your people to exhibit day in and day out. It is vital to have very clearly defined “rules for the game”. Our core values drive the behaviour we need to exhibit day in and day out. It is a common language and nobody (not even the owner) are above it.
  3. Ensure all your people understand the strategic direction of the company. 

Do you need your products manufactured On Time with Zero Defects?

We employ the best engineering talent to ensure we, and our customers can remain competitive in a constantly evolving economy.

Contact us today to see what we can do for you.

“Glass, China, and Reputation, are easily cracked, and never well mended,” legendary US inventor and thinker Benjamin Franklin, once said.

To us at Contour Engineering, this concept of reputation is at the heart of building a high-performing precision manufacturing culture. It’s something that should be at the heart of any Kiwi manufacturer wanting to be world class.

How you and your business conduct themselves is what your reputation is built on. Focusing your entire business on the customer, from the conversations held within the workshop, right through to the solutions you offer, is key to ensuring a strong reputation. A good way to achieve this focus is building a culture that observes the ‘golden rule’ i.e. “do unto others as they would do to you.”………..

That means everyone, from shopfloor to front office, treats the customer (and in some cases their customers) in the same way they would like to be treated.

Achieving this sort of culture is not easy and takes regular and consistent communication, discipline and structure around the way the business operates.

For New Zealand manufacturers, there are two sides to this coin. The first is to build a reputation such that you can attract premium pricing for your products in your market, as Contour Engineering’s customers like Shotover Camera Systems or Enztec have achieved. The other side is finding suppliers whom you can trust to deliver what you want, on time, and at a high quality.

Achieving a great reputation and becoming the preferred option for customers requires manufacturers to implement the golden rule throughout their organisation. Deadlines need to be met, and the equipment needs to be exactly as described. Being near the top means that there are high expectations of you and any deviation from that will have people second guessing if they can rely on you. As Franklin says, reputation is easily broken and hard to repair so every action counts.

Which is why it is so important to find suppliers who can make sure you can deliver to these expectations. As your customers expect the best from you, so should you expect the same from your suppliers. If there are delays in getting parts to you, or if there are faults and errors, this can throw off your timelines and getting your orders away. You need to be able to rely on the goods being on time, and with zero defects.

Having the golden rule for yourself and your suppliers make for a more efficient workplace where solutions are delivered faster and on budget. It also produces better results for the customer who in turn are more satisfied with the engagement, producing more repeat business and word of mouth spread.

For more information contact us.

THE PROMISE: ‘On time Zero defects’. In the field of precision engineering and hi-tech manufacturing, there are many out there that are easily able to say the words, ‘on time with zero defects’; fewer follow through. Those that dare to utter such phrases deliver – such as is the case of Christchurch-based Contour Engineering – or are quickly found out.

The challenge, according to company owner Roland Auret is not just adhering to the aforementioned, but doing it while simultaneously providing professional customer service.

The absolute underlying factor of high precision CNC machining encompasses hi-tech manufacturing, streamlined, manufacturing processes, good design for manufacture, and hiring quality people.

“I started Contour with an ambitious vision,” says Mr Auret. “I wanted to support New Zealand companies that were manufacturing high-value products via a precision engineering service. And I wanted to deliver that precision engineering service not just once but every single time.”

To Mr Auret and the rest of the Contour team, delivering the ‘On time Zero defects’ promise is the result, the rest is an absolutely necessary process requiring the whole team to be ‘A-players’ and to live and breathe the company’s core values every day.

Contour specialises in a variety of fields that require nothing short of exact precision: medical and surgical, aerospace, military and defence, aviation and avionics, carbon fibre mould tooling, digital navigation, automation work cell building and automated equipment.

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