Quality? For sure!
For Quality Assurance Manager Rick van Huet, “For Sure” equals providing quality. You need to be sure you are providing your customers with high-quality products. “For sure” implies that certainty.
Rick: "Focusing on quality is not just in our name, but in the DNA of our entire organisation. I do my work based on that foundation. My predecessors have already taken many steps in this regard. It is my job to further help Von Gahlen improve and ensure quality. The goal? Going from working at the departmental level to working cross-level.”
Process thinking as the basis for quality
To ensure that all departments work well together across all levels, Rick sees the implementation of process thinking as his most important task. This means all the work is focused on a good result for the customer. “Take, for example, the purchase of a product. This is done through the purchasing and sales departments, but planning and production are also involved. It is therefore important to look further than your own activities. Because together we create the product; everyone adds their own value. If our processes run well, the quality of our products is guaranteed. This allows us to meet customer needs and expectations.”
Documenting and learning with ISO 9001
From a quality perspective, it is important to have proof of the activities done. This is why Rick is currently working to raise awareness about the importance of documentation. “We work according to the ISO 9001 standard. This requires not only clear processes, but also proper reporting of all activities done. When you put something down on paper, you really have to think about it. This allows you to work in a structured way and to take more conscious steps. In retrospect, documentation helps us improve processes. That's how we grow as an organisation, but more importantly, it helps us serve customers even better.
Improvement through Continuous Improvement cycle
In all improvements and processes implemented by the QA department, they use the principles of “Continuous improvement”. Rick: "In our field, you never stop learning. Based on our processes and documentation, we are continuously improving. With these improvement cycles, we not only improve our production process, but also, for example, external processes in the supply chain. This is how we build the long-term relationships with suppliers that we strive for at Von Gahlen.”
Providing quality together
“Management is investing in quality improvements because they really see the added value of the QA department and our plans for the customer experience. For me, that is the most important condition for getting started, because it enables QA to take a guiding role. We also have a facilitating role as a staff department. We provide support throughout the organisation, for example in creating procedures, work instructions, or taking over administrative tasks. Not to take over responsibility, but so that employees can focus on their own activities, where their talents lie. This way, everyone can perform their work well and provide the right quality. And together we make quality thinking not an extra task, but the standard.”