The client is a £4m turnover third generation family firm where the primary ethos is to produce high quality precision engineering products for the oil and gas markets. All products are made from a range of the more specialist, exotic and difficult to machine materials.

The problem

The emphasis on product and component quality was made abundantly clear from the outset by the MD who commented:

• “If I have quality I always have something to stand on … if not …I am at the beck and call of the wind.”

Despite having attempted registration previously, the directors now wanted to push for an independent endorsement of their products and services – An ISO 9001 registered management system that codified current company “best practice”. The two key objectives were articulated as being:

• “We need to use ISO get us higher up the supply chain… if we can do that we can increase our margins”

• “If we can simplify and streamline the processes employed for the standardised product range we can also increase those margins

The approach and solution

Given the company had an existing, albeit old and unregistered, documented system it was decided that the best approach would be to undertake an initial needs analysis in order to better understand:

• The scope and deployment of the current practices

• The detail content of the previously documented system

• The gaps in the current activities and the requirements of the latest standard

The needs analysis resulted in:

• A top-level Core Activity Map™ showing, in a logical sequence, the tasks undertaken for both standard and bespoke product groups

• A fuller understanding of how the existing system could be re-packaged, with little effort, to meet the requirements of the new standard

• A written and presented, fully costed, implementation plan


• The core value adding processes were made centrepiece to the system so further time and effort will be spent on further streamlining

• The company is now well on its way to having a useful system that improves the way in which its work works