Meeting Our Customers’ Needs
How quality control works at IBVI
The mission of Industries for the Blind and Visually Impaired (IBVI) is simple: to provide and grow meaningful employment opportunities for those who are blind or visually impaired. But to accomplish this mission and keep people employed, we also must provide the best products possible and meet our customers’ needs.
We do this by creating an open and collaborative environment at our facilities—one that fosters innovative thinking that develops into new business ideas, employee engagement, and a true sense of belonging for anyone who comes through our doors. Because of their unique experience with their surroundings, our employees come to us every day with new and more efficient ways to do things.
We provide resources to help our employees reach their full capabilities; this ensures that we meet their needs while still achieving customer satisfaction and fulfilling all product requirements. We review our employee’s capabilities while performing new jobs to determine which tools will help them succeed in their job roles here at IBVI.
Someone working on the factory floor is often the first person to flag issues in the quality-control process. Every decision, instruction, and choice made at IBVI revolves around making sure our employees are reaching their full capabilities. When there is a training or process issue, our team evaluates what the needs are and works to correct the problem. All procedures within IBVI are documented for controlling inspection, measuring and testing equipment used for product design and development, process qualification, and control of product quality.
As far as how the process works, IBVI’s quality control begins in the product-development stage in order to meet our customers’ requirements. Following that, all purchased materials go through an inspection before they are verified, and the inspection results are documented. If a material does not meet our standards, it is given a hold tag and removed.
Once we have all inventory checked and verified, it is stored in the warehouse and identified with a barcode label that is unique to our facility. All inventory that moves through IBVI is electronically traceable.Our manufacturing operators are trained on the product quality characteristics that need to be monitored, and the method of packaging, labeling, and palletizing through operation sheets and visual standards. All of our employees are trained using methods that best meet their abilities, and all of our training records are on file for use of job placement and human resource records.
Machines in our facilities are subject to first piece testing, and all work orders are verified before the start of any production. All inspection findings are documented, and quality issues are followed up on right away. All of our manufacturing operations are subject to floor inspections three to four times a day, as well as operator inspections throughout the work order.
Finished products are verified for completeness and correctness before being documented and tagged with complete part numbers. All of our manufacturing processes are subject to daily process audits by our quality-control department.
IBVI was the first non-profit organization to receive an ISO Certification in 1998, and our quality-control processes have come a long way since then. Today, we are proud to be certified under ISO 9001:2015. Due to our diligent quality control efforts, reworks are rarely needed, and our manufacturing time and cost have been cut down as a result. Our employees are a huge part of this. We lean on them to voice their concerns if they identify problems with a process or simply notice something that can be improved. Together, we are able to provide the best, most cost-effective products for our customers.