Ellco Etikett started of 2018 by becoming the only label printing company in Norway to be certified by the strict ISO standards in both quality and environmental management
The project started off early in 2017. Ellco Etikett had recently lost a large tender by an old customer. This partly due to the lack of a quality certification.
- That really triggered something in us. Over the years we have worked hard to improve the quality of our systems, and now we lost the tender due to a lack of an official certification? What a wakeup call! I believe it took less than an hour before we had secured a meeting with a consultant on the matter. CEO, Christian Egedius
Two birds with one stone
Kiwa Technological Institute got the assignment, and a timetable was soon in place. According to the consultant at Kiwa, Ellco Etikett was mature enough as a quality provider to certify for two standards at the same time. Thus, the Quality and Development Manager of the label company, Jarl-André Skarsten, became the project leader for the certification of NS-EN ISO 9001:2015 and NS-EN ISO 14001. He quickly got the hang of it and it is largely thanks to him that Ellco Etikett can shine in the glory of having the ISO titles today.
- I must say, it has been an exciting and quite interesting experience. In many ways confronting too. We have had a thorough clean-up of our systems and gotten to know them in a more sensible way. Now we have a stamp of approval for the work we do in making sure that every section of this company delivers quality. Quality and Development Manager, Jarl-André Skarsten.
Lean, a good starting point
Skarsten underlines that the only way to create a user friendly and dynamic management system is by activating and involving all employees in a company. He explains that it has been a long process, but that the work Ellco Etikett had begun through Lean practices in 2013, was a very good starting point.
- Ellco Etikett understands quality based on facts. We measure and register in every section of the company. This gives us the opportunity to act based on real facts, which in turn gives little room for guesswork. Ultimately, this will benefit the customer. Quality and Development Manager, Jarl-André Skarsten.
Security in good systems
Through working with ISO, Ellco Etikett has implemented a solid deviation system, which register and handle both internal and external complaints, such as claims from customers. The system contributes strongly as a baseline for education and training in the company and gives a unique insight to the customers’ needs and demands.
The selling, specifying and production of self-adhesive labels are in many ways a complex process, and difficult to standardize. Especially at a label printing company such as Ellco Etikett, which provides world class printing methods and a wide array of printing techniques. Every assignment is different than the other. The company has therefore worked closely with software developers in the label business to build systems that secures quality and a high level of automation.
The American MIS system, LabelTraxx, supports all processes from the first quote all the way through to expediting finished goods. Ellco Etikett can easily trace material consumption, ink and varnish used in the production. With ESKO automation engine integrated in the workflow, all original files are provided correct, automated and secure handling, all the way to archiving for future re-runs.
- With this level of control on our consumption of raw materials, and time spent on each order, there were no reason not to get certified for the environmental part of the ISO standard as well. We have a clear ambition to be a visible establishment for production of environmentally friendly labels, and all actions made in the company will contribute to push us one step closer to that goal, says Skarsten.
Bent Barman Skaare, the consultant from Kiwa Technological Institute who guided the label company through the preparation towards the ISO revisions, was happy to see his “pupil” pass the final exams.
- Ellco Etikett has been a very exciting company to work with. I work with a lot of companies that are in the process of ISO certification, but I must say, this label company has impressed me. Most companies only do one certification at a time. Now Ellco Etikett has two, and both in a short time frame. Kiwa consultant, Bent Barman Skaare
The certification itself was done by independent accountants late in 2017. There were two tough rounds of questioning, document and implementation controls, and finally some deviations that needed to be rectified. And then, early in 2018, it all was confirmed – Ellco Etikett is formally certified as an environmentally conscious quality producer by international standards.
- At least this will not be the problem for future inquiries and tenders, CEO Egedius concludes with a smile.