Miles Chemical Company (Miles Chemical), a chemical distributor, was established in 1996. With 27 employees and their own fleetof trucks, Miles Chemical provides just-in-time delivery of chemicals to customers in the metal manufacturing, surface finishing, printed circuit board, industrial, food, personal care, nutraceutical and municipal industries. In 2008, the company leveraged its experience with chemical distribution, custom blending, waste hauling and inventory management to produce $25 million in annual sales.

Challenge

Miles Chemical was looking to become more efficient and further improve the quality and consistency of customer service. The company wanted to document processes. In addition, they wanted to improve their warehousing and distribution practices and procedures. Miles Chemical had an overall desire to optimize their workforce, facilities and build a foundation for continuous improvement.

Solution

 

In February 2008, Miles Chemical Company chose to begin ISO 9001implementation. ISO 9001 is an International Standard for Management Operations of business. In June 2008, only four months after implementation began, Miles Chemical passed their formal ISO 9001 certification audit.

During the implementation process, all employees participated in a customized overview of the requirements to become certified. Employees were involved in operational procedures and process development, establishment of operational indicators and internal audits to verify the training and management review were complete and accurate. To gain employee support, employees were trained on the benefit and impact of ISO 9001 and their input was solicited in the development and implementation of the processes to meet the requirements. The entire company moved forward with their goal of standardization of processes and improving productivity.

Implementation of ISO 9001 process allowed Miles Chemical to operate with a fixed set of processes, able to identify and quickly resolve problems.

Improvement Description

Before the company started the ISO 9001 certification, company processes were informal. Standardizing and documenting the operational processes led to a 2% improvement in quality and an overall inventory reduction of 5%. Additionally, the company optimized material flow in their warehouses by standardizing the work flow and order fulfillment process increasing customer satisfaction from 92% to 96%.

Financial and Investment Impact

Quality improvements led to an increase in customer satisfaction increasing sales by $1.7M and saving $250,000 annually.

"Our quality policy at Miles Chemical is that we deliver competitive, error free services and products to our customers on time, every time. Implementing ISO 9001 will ensure that we deliver on that policy."

Anthony Miles
President of Miles Chemical