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The F.P. Horak Co.--The Grand Finale

April 1998
Editor's Note: This is the last installment in the monthly series on The F.P. Horak Co. and its quest for ISO 9002 registration.

The opening meeting began as most meetings do—with introductions, handshakes and polite (albeit brief) conversation. However, the friendly atmosphere belied the underlying tension.

It was Tuesday, Feb. 24, 8 a.m. Two men—two auditors—had come to The F.P. Horak Co. in Bay City, MI, to measure its quality system.

As the auditors spoke during the opening meeting, the Horak executives in attendance listened with rapt attention. Their quest for ISO 9002 culminated in this moment. Months of preparation were about to pay off. Or fail.

The auditors announced their intentions, discussed the ISO 9002 standard, and defined the scope of the registration. "Our scope was for all graphically produced products at The F.P. Horak Co., which entails commercial, web and digital printing," says Kevin Krzyminski, Horak's quality assurance manager.

The meeting only took 20 minutes. The auditors didn't have time for long speeches. These two representatives from the registrar had to examine all three Horak printing divisions—and they had two days to do it.

After planning an efficient course of action, the auditors decided to spend four to five hours in each division. One auditor concentrated on the shop floor, while his partner stuck to the offices.

Horak's digital division runs one shift, the commercial division runs two shifts, and the web division runs three. The auditors checked in all of them. On Wednesday, the auditors even started their day at 6 a.m. so they could question the third-shift web press operators getting ready to clock out.

As the auditors moved meticulously through Horak's facility, they kept a watchful eye out for major non-conformances, the infractions that can cost a company its ISO certificate. They also searched for minor non-conformances.

Relatively harmless alone, a minor does its damage in numbers. Specifically, three minors within a single element add up to one major.

Did the auditors find any majors?

No.

Did Horak receive ISO 9002 registration?

Yes.

After completing their thorough investigation, the auditors wasted no time recommending Horak to the RAB (registrar accreditation board), which, in turn, sent Horak a ISO 9002 certificate documenting the company's achievement.

As part of the recommendation process, the auditors formally reported their findings for the RAB to review and reject or accept. Based on the auditors' positive comments, the RAB had no reason to refuse Horak certification.
 

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