Great Western Valve Inc. (GWV), located in Houston, Texas, is an industrial valve repair and re-manufacturing company that provides services predominantly to the petrochemical, refining and pipeline industries. GWV, founded in 1990, was effectively re-launched in July 2007 under a completely new management team. Prior to the re-launch, it was a small owner-operator company; according to Mr. Jim Reilly, CEO, “the re-launch is what makes GWV today”.
GWV reached ISO 9001: 2008 Quality Management certification in April 2009. All GWV supervisors are former OEM trained professionals and adhere to OEM quality standards. GWV was repairing to the types of rigours and standards set by OEM, but did not have the means to document it in their policies and procedures. ISO gave GWV the vehicle to formalize the quality workmanship, standards and consistencies that they already had in practice. ISO also provided a means to reinforce quality standards, guides for new employee training, and documentation that is often shared with their clients to demonstrate the type of work they do for them.
On the reasons behind becoming ISO certified, Mr. Reilly, comments, “We pride ourselves on quality workmanship and professional standards, but we didn’t have the means to document and demonstrate them until ISO. ISO paved the way for us to document the quality workmanship we were already doing into procedures and forms that we can use internally and externally for customer audits.”
Mr. Reilly explains what quality means to GWV, “The strict adherence to the highest levels of workmanship and the documentation of the standards within which we do our work.”
It took GWV 3 months to reach ISO 9001 certification and since becoming certified, GWV has experienced benefits both internally and externally. “Internally we document our standard repair and operating procedures and hold all of our technicians and craftsmen accountable to best-in-class workmanship.” Mr. Reilly continues, “externally it gives us the visibility to our customers that this company is not just giving lip service to quality, we do it everyday through our ISO procedures.”
“We pride ourselves on quality workmanship and craftsmanship because it is demanded by our customers.” Upon making the decision to become ISO certified, Mr. Mike Kouloumoundras, VP Operations & Quality Manager, and the management team asked themselves, “what would put us in position to comply with the rigours of a quality programme?” And ISO was the obvious place to start.
“IMSM provided excellent support, which helped us and reconfirmed our decision to work with them”.