International Certification Solidifies Manufacturer’s Position in Its Market
Torelco, a subsidiary of Hunterdon Transformer, is a family owned and operated company. The company was started in 1964 by two partners in a basement in Irvington, New Jersey utilizing homemade winding equipment. The company made a number of moves as a result of its growth, and then in 2007 the owners decided that it would be to the company’s advantage to be closer to its parent company, and moved to its current location in Phillipsburg, New Jersey which is located in an Urban Enterprise Zone (UEZ).
In the early days of Torelco, the company was known for its expertise in toroidal winding. Today, the company has a reputation for quality and on-time deliveries for not only toroids, but also bobbins, EI, UI, EE and many other types of transformer needs.
Torelco’s market was changing. Many of its customers were requiring their suppliers to be ISO registered. ISO registration means the company meets stringent requirements set by a national standards body from more than 150 countries. Being ISO certified indicates that a company meets an international standard of excellence.
The company had begun the process in 1998 but soon realized that as a small, but growing manufacturing company of 13 employees, they did not have the knowledge or the resources internally to implement a formal quality improvement plan that would lead to ISO 9001:2008 Registration.
When Torelco received a telemarketing call from NJMEP, they scheduled an appointment. Florence Lee and Matt Peterson, the company’s president, explained they were interested in obtaining ISO Certification. NJMEP reviewed the typical ISO Implementation schedule and timelines. Implementing ISO standards requires a financial as well as a time commitment. Ms. Lee had previously worked on the Hunterdon Transformer ISO Certification so was very familiar with what was required. NJMEP suggested that as a small company they consider applying for NJ DOL funding for the required training. Mr. Peterson agreed to proceed with a Grant Pre-Qualification and he provided all the necessary information. With the help of NJMEP the application was completed and submitted. The NJDOL investment in the company was approved and the plan was initiated.
ISO Quality Systems training consisted of training in:
- Management Overview
- Process Review & Leadership
- Document Control
- Quality Manual Development
- Procedure Development Training
- Employee Understanding & Involvement
- Internal Auditor Training
- Management Review Workshop
The training would enable Torelco to develop and implement the Quality Management System the ISO required.
After completing the initial training, Torelco and NJMEP did some additional work to assure the new processes would pass ISO scrutiny.
The ISO training enabled Torelco to be better at quality, have greater throughput, lower cycle times, shorten set-up times, reduce inventory, increase employee morale/motivation and be at world class productivity levels. The company now has an advantage over it competitors, keeping them profitable and growing in New Jersey.
With much of their competition coming from areas with lower production costs, Torelco’s new processes help the company offset a substantial portion of the wage cost differential by increasing the productivity of its workers.
When surveyed by NIST on the two programs, Mr. Peterson reported the following impact as a result of the training:
- Increased Sales: $101,000
- Retained Sales: $225,000
- New Hires: 2
- Retained employees: 5
- Overall Cost savings: $188,400
- Savings in Workforce Training: $19,198.96
- Investment and /or Savings in New Products and Processes: $219,200
Matt Peterson, the President of Torelco Inc., recently noted, “NJMEP assisted Torelco with putting in place a quality control program and successfully achieving ISO 9001. This plan helped our company to reduce costs in many areas and helped us focus on continuous improvement at Torelco. Not only did Torelco save financially by working with NJMEP, our ISO 9001 allowed us to enter new markets and retain customers who were asking that we become ISO 9001 certified. NJMEP is a reliable and valuable resource. We continue to look to them for their knowledge and expertise.”
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