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IEWC's Commitment to Quality

December 18, 2013

IEWC was recently presented with an award in recognition of 20 years of ISO certification. It was a great reminder of our company's commitment to quality and the impacts that commitment has on our customers' businesses. As a distributor, IEWC's quality performance has a lot to do with the quality of the products our vendors produce and on balance; they too are doing a very good job. But I see our responsibility for quality within the supply chain to be much broader if we are to truly "delight" our customers. The various services IEWC extends to its customers represent the single most important point of differentiation in our business. Yes, price has to be competitive and product of equal or better performance must be available but at the end of the day, IEWC is awarded an order for product because it is the trusted source. At the very heart of securing an "earned position" with our customers is IEWC's commitment to continuous improvement.

One might ask, "How do you measure that and how do you improve on your weaknesses?" One tool we use is a semi-annual survey to find out what our customers' perception is of our performance. Most importantly, we follow up to address any survey results that may fall below our minimum threshold. Unless we are able to identify the root cause for the lower score and implement permanent corrective actions, IEWC simply will not improve. We also monitor order entry accuracy and invoicing errors to prevent human errors that otherwise could interrupt our customers' processes. We also monitor trend lines in customer retention and investigate variances.

IEWC also extends its continuous improvement mantra upstream to its vendors and collaborates with them through process improvement exercises to help elevate our collective performance. IEWC conducts root cause analysis and defines corrective actions relating to the performance monitoring scorecards it receives from customers. The company measures how it is doing against the on-site arrival dates that were promised to our customers in order to make certain we do what we say we are going to do. Most importantly, we proactively solicit customer feedback on what is important to them and we are committed to our performance guiding metrics. In the end, it is IEWC's long-standing commitment to continuous improvement that sustains us. Indeed, quality is not a singular activity that resides within IEWC's Quality Department. On the contrary, quality lies at the heart of IEWC's Business Management System and it pervades every aspect of our day to day business activity.

To use the words of Matthew Harrington "In the end though, it's really all about helping people – to have fun, make a quality product, be profitable, learn something and get better. So, let me ask you: how well did you help someone today?"

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