Consistently manufacturing the same quality product is not easily achieved. It is the result of a continuous dedication to supply chain management with robust standard procedures. At Milliken, we achieve this through ISO 9001 certification — strict guidelines and processes on how to create quality products through thorough and streamlined processes for product design, development, manufacturing, and quality control — which we have third-party verified through DQS, Inc. for 25 years. The reason is simple: it’s good for Milliken’s business, customers, and communities.
Through the ISO 9001 framework, Milliken can provide consistent, quality products to customers in the numerous industries we serve around the world. ISO provides a common language from which companies can communicate, allowing Milliken to quickly solve any issues that may arise and collaborate on new products for customers with ease. It also requires annual audits of our manufacturing supply chain and procedures so that our operations remain uninterrupted even during times of change.
ISO certification ensures that the products that Milliken customers order tomorrow are of the same outstanding quality as what we manufactured yesterday, and the same products they relied on five years ago. This consistency in quality is the hallmark on which Milliken prides itself to be a reliable industrial partner.
To Richard Ridlehuber, quality systems manager for the Milliken Chemical division, this consistency is imperative for Milliken Chemical customers. There are multiple factors at play when manufacturing with chemicals, and Milliken wants to assure customers that products are designed to conform with all relevant requirements and perform in all intended applications. ISO 9001 certification critically demonstrates that Milliken is a stable, capable, and reliable chemical ingredient supplier, proving Milliken has processes in place designed to manage customer requirements, fulfill orders, and address any concerns. It “ensures everyone — Milliken, our customers, and our customers’ customers — can achieve success.”
In fact, it has become his mark and priority at the company. Richard began leading Milliken quality initiatives in 1987 when the company pursued the coveted Malcom Baldrige National Quality Award. At that time, ISO standards were being introduced worldwide. In 1991, Milliken Chemical became the third U.S. company to achieve the most stringent version of ISO registration, addressing product design, development, manufacturing, and quality control. Since then, we have continued to maintain ISO registrations amidst five rigorous standard updates.
Brett Turbyfill, senior operations manager for external manufacturing at Milliken, oversees quality both internally at Milliken as well as externally at Milliken suppliers. For him, ISO certification is a mainstay for both Milliken businesses, associates, and communities, and is also recommended for Milliken suppliers to achieve. “If we have robust plans in place to create quality products, and we have engaged associates to help the company improve how we operate or exist within our world, then we feel like it will be a better place for everyone,” Brett shared.
ISO certification is a competitive advantage and can elevate a company from competitors oftentimes more than price. Heather Sensiba, quality director for Milliken’s Performance & Protective Textiles division, agreed that ISO’s rigorous certification demonstrates to customers that Milliken is seriously committed to delivering quality products. “Ensuring quality through ISO standards is not taken lightly,” she said. “It holds Milliken to the letter of the ISO standard, which is incredibly strict, and ensures safety, quality, and performance come first over competing priorities.”
ISO certification is also good for the communities Milliken calls home, as the standard includes a clause about the effect of operations on the community, including environmental footprint. “Milliken wants to ensure we are doing the right thing for our community regarding our environmental impact, the quality of our operations, and job security for our associates,” Richard continued. That means implementing processes that ensure success for everyone.
ISO registration must be third-party verified for the certification to be valid, and for 25 years, Milliken has partnered with DQS, Inc. to examine our processes so that they can be as robust as possible. Our longstanding collaborative history challenges Milliken to push forward each year through objectivity, which according to Brett, is key to achieving quality manufacturing. “You need another perspective to see how you can learn and grow. We want our programs to be scrutinized so that they done well and done right. DQS, Inc. helps us achieve this.”
Milliken is ready, willing and able to invest in quality through the time and commitment of our valued associates. We thank DQS, Inc. for being a forward-thinking partner in our quest to deliver the best possible innovations for Milliken customers.