11 DECEMBER 2002

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Simonds Farsons Cisk obtains ISO9001:2000 certification

Simonds Farsons Cisk has been presented with the ISO9001:2000 certification by SGS United Kingdom Ltd. SFC Chief Executive Louis Farrugia received the certification on behalf of Farsons from SGS’s Senior Quality Assurance Auditor Roger Courtenay.

"Customers demand that Farsons’ products and services meet their expectations not only in price but also in quality. In order to further fulfill this responsibility we need to manage quality in a disciplined and systematic way," Mr Farrugia comments. "The ISO9001 quality management system model provides us with new opportunities and better ways of managing quality."

He explains, "The ISO model has helped us define quality under a wider scope of activities thus bringing formally together interactions in the internal supplier-customer chain. To achieve this we have invested considerable resources. The tasks have been deployed at all levels of employees because we strongly believe that all employees own quality." Mr Farrugia concluded by thanking Pierre Dalmas, Farson’s project manager in its drive of the certification.

Farsons has managed to achieve this prestigious certification first time and on schedule - through the commitment and support from all levels of employees, managerial grades up to the Chairman and Board of Directors. In order to obtain this certification, no less than 33 management reviews were carried out since January 2000 to monitor certification status and some 1200 documents were controlled and approved. These documents can now be revisited and improved upon by all employees as a tool for continuous upgrading. At the same time, a new, centralised document control system has been created.

So far this year alone, 850 hours were dedicated to workstation training. Ninety-nine employees were certified on one or more workstations, while seven material suppliers received approved SFC Internal Material Procurement Specifications. SGS will continue providing independent on-going assessments that identify opportunities for improvement at Farsons. The company believes that a quality management system is an investment for the future. "Although we do realize that we are not yet where we want to be, during the last months we have achieved two goals: we have made significant improvements and we have attained a sense of determination throughout our company to reach our desired objectives," said Mr Farrugia.

"The recent audit by SGS has demonstrated that Farsons have satisfactorily interpreted and implemented the requirements as set by this international standard," said Mr Courtenay. "We are pleased to note that Farsons are prepared to carry this added responsibility by focusing further on their quality policy."

"We are pleased to note that at Farsons this exercise has generated a strong sense of ownership by a number of quality control technicians and foreman grades who were also supported by their respective managers. The process towards certification has offered SFC with an opportunity to rethink, re-define and improve its manufacturing or service activities," said Mr Courtenay.

Mr Farrugia concluded: "Other advantages which we have experienced through this exercise include the sharing of expertise and resources across our different Business Units, while the quality management system can be used as a platform for future management systems."

Present for the certification presentation were also SFC Chairman Bryan Gera, Vice-Chairman Anthony P. Galdes and other members of the company’s senior management.


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Editor: Saviour Balzan
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