NPF is a family business located in Greenwood, Delaware, with approximately 73 employees. In 1927, F. Carl Porter founded the business with a desire to improve manufacturing processes. Porter coined the company name after the innovative process he had planned to develop for a new, lower-cost means of turning cotton paper into vulcanized fiber. Although his “new process” never really panned out, the company did manufacture vulcanized fiber for about 20 years before ceasing that operation to concentrate on fabricating parts and eventually distilling that down to mainly stamped parts. Today, NPF is a major supplier of non-metallic stamped components to many of the largest original equipment manufacturer (OEM) companies in the world. Now in its third generation, the family’s desire to constantly improve operations has never wavered.
ISO 9001 is the international standard that specifies requirements for a quality management system. Organizations use the standard to demonstrate the ability to consistently provide products and services that meet customer and regulatory requirements. NFP recently worked with DEMEP, part of the MEP National Network™, to update its ISO 9000 standards to the latest iteration: ISO 9001: 2015.
Projects like this are great because they get you to break away from the day-to-day operations and focus on the big picture. Overall, I’m proud of everyone who contributed and I think they got a lot out of it.
ISO updates its standards every 5-7 years, and this round of changes were extensive, with the new standard requiring leadership involvement and commitment of the whole organization.
The certification process took about five months, and was labor-intensive. DEMEP helped NPF to break to process into manageable pieces. The work started by training the NPF Project Team on the new ISO 9001 standards, followed by a two-day gap analysis to identify any deficiencies in complying with the new ISO 9001:2015 revision. DEMEP then worked with the team to develop a plan for closing the gaps for NPF to comply with the standard.
DEMEP then helped the implementation team identify the action steps they would need to take. NPF’s management team wanted to develop a cross functional Project Implementation Team by adding more internal auditors and including representatives from various departments. Ultimately, the hard work paid off and NFP earned their ISO 9001:2015 certification.