As of fall 2018, Alkota Cleaning Systems, Inc. is proud to announce its ISO 9001:2015 certification.
Our group of investment backers heavily encouraged us to pursue this certification, and we were aware of others in the industry who had attained it.
Our own Bob James took on the process, which took about 14 months from start to completion.
We worked with Orion Registrar, Inc., an auditing agency out of Arvada, Colorado, to attain the certification, and we were pleased with their representative’s professional and helpful manner.
“This was very much a learning experience for me,” said James. “And by the end of it, I felt as if I could successfully mentor another company through the process.”
James has been with us for 35 years, and he wears a lot of hats around Alkota. However, with his background in accounting, he has primarily served as our cost accountant. His expertise when it comes to details made him an excellent fit for this project.
The initial visit with Orion Registrar, Inc. to launch the project took place in April of 2018. We had done our homework, and the day-long visit with the Orion representative was very helpful in determining what was left to accomplish. We discussed what they were looking for and assessed our progress across departments.
We were given a footprint to fill out, and the official audit took place in September of 2018. In all, the process took four days, and the Orion representative went over a list of 65 requirements with James. Following that, he visited with Alkota employees across departments, assessing their procedures and documentation.
The Final Decision
After the visit, it took about a month and a half to receive official word that we had been certified. The assessment process is based on major and minor non-compliances. Companies can receive a certain number of minor non-compliances at no detriment to their certification, but any major non-compliance is grounds to end the audit.
We were pleased to receive only two minor non-compliances, which meant Alkota was eligible for ISO 9001:2015 certification. Final approval comes from a governing board that Orion Registrar, Inc. reports to.
“Of course, we’re not perfect, but we satisfied those initial requirements,” said James. “Honestly, if the auditor didn’t find anything to improve, he wouldn’t have been doing his job. James says he was grateful to our team of employees for really putting their heart into it.
“People acted very professionally,” he said. “We have a set of processes here, as far as our actual working operation … and it just all works.”
Further information about Alkota’s ISO 9001:2015 certification is available both to employees and the public, upon request. Certification lasts for three years and is assessed annually.