Marvin Wood recognized for quality management

July 11, 2008 12:00 am

Ed Merriman Baker City Herald

A blue-and-white flag flying at Marvin Wood Products in Baker City signifies the company's implementation of a quality management program recognized around the world.

Employees at Marvin Wood Products, 3665 17th St., cut pieces of wood used in the manufacture of Marvin doors and windows. Everett Vaser, manager of the Baker City plant, said completion of the IS0-900-2000 certification program tells customers around the world that the company adheres to strict quality control guidelines in every aspect of operating the plant.

"Overseas companies like to do business with ISO-certified companies. It is a standard that says we do things right," Everett said.

"ISO requires us to use tools calibrated to recognized standards. We have international audits. We have teams that resolve problems in a timely manner," Everett said.

Sandi Fuller, an administrative assistant who played a key role in pursuing the ISO certification, said part of the process involved a five-day audit in which ISO officials inspected the plant and it's operating and quality control procedures.

"They looked over our training, calibration and manufacturing process before awarding the ISO certification," Fuller said.

"It is more than just qualifying for the ISO certification, it helps us manage our business," Fuller said. "It has improved employee morale to see we make changes fast when a problem is identified.

She said employees appreciated a couple of simple changes implemented during the ISO certification process, including the addition of a project board so they know what projects are coming up, and the posting of procedures to be followed by workers and management.

Some new equipment was also added at the plant during the year-long certification process, she said.

Fuller said the company gets the pine it uses to make window components from lumber mills in Oregon, Washington and California.

In decades past, she said much of the pine was purchased locally from Ellingson Lumber Co. After that mill closed in the 1990s, Fuller said Marvin Wood Products hired some of the millworkers and began purchasing pine from a variety of mills in the three West Coast states.

In addition to the blue-and-white flag denoting the company's ISO quality management certification received this spring, Marvin Wood Products also flies a flag with a yellow-and-blue emblem recognizing the company as a star site for its 2006 safety excellence as a member of the Volunteer Protection Program administered by OR-OSHA.