Becoming ISO certified serves as a confirmation to our clients that WCI has achieved a certain minimum quality assurance practices. These practices are confirmed through independent third-party audits. ISO 9001 certification should serve as a basic minimum standard for doing business with our clients.

ISO 9001 Helps White Construction Grow in the Alternative Energy Industry

Alyson White Hanson | White Construction

1. Please tell us a bit about White Contruction's activities in the Alternative Energy Industry?
The demand for energy is growing worldwide, and with the dwindling reserve of fossil fuels renewable energy is the solution to our energy independence.  As a heavy industrial contractor the addition of renewable energy construction projects to White Construction’s broad list of services was a natural development.  We believe in energy independence, and our expertise, equipment and management can ensure your project is successful, safe and on time.
White Construction was one of the pioneering companies in the early days of Wind Farm Construction in North America.  Our experience combined with high quality standards and safety practices has gained us recognition as one of the leaders in wind industry.   Currently White Construction has installed more than 4,000 megawatts in the United States and Canada.
White Construction has facilitated implementation from conceptual design for this cutting edge technology. Our team has the Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) experience to be a valuable asset for your biomass investment. Most recently White Construction has been the catalyst for launching new technology in this emerging renewable energy market.

2. I understand White Construction is ISO certified, can you explain what that entails and what the certification is? 
ISO 9001 certification requires a basic understanding of the ISO 9000 standards as well as having the basics of a quality management system, which WCI has had in place for several years prior to achieving our certification.   The certification is an independent confirmation that WCI has met the requirements of ISO 9001, which are voluntary international technical standards that were created to establish consistent criteria and requirements for global business systems.  Our first step was to understand the requirements of ISO 9001.  Next, we performed a gap analysis to identify current processes that comply with the standard, processes that are in compliance and need to be captured with documentation, processes that did not comply and needed to be redesigned, and required processes that were not currently in place.   Once the gap analysis was complete, we developed a plan and assigned a Steering Committee to administer the necessary tasks to complete the plan.  Once everything was in placed and documented, we then trained our employees on the new processes and quality management system. 
3. Why is ISO certification important to your clients?
Becoming ISO certified serves as a confirmation to our clients that WCI has achieved a certain minimum quality assurance practices.  These practices are confirmed through independent third-party audits.  ISO 9001 certification should serve as a basic minimum standard for doing business with our clients.
4. Explain how project controls in place to meet ISO standards give White a competitive edge in the wind industry?
In today's competitive marketplace, success if often times measured in terms of quality and service.  Becoming ISO certified has helped us improve by ensuring that our customers receive services that meet and/or exceed their requirements and expectations.  Consistency is the key and our clients can be assured that they receive the same standard of quality and service from one jobsite to the next despite which coast or country we are performing in.  We continually monitor customer satisfaction and this feedback allows us to implement improvements effectively and efficiently if need be. 
5. How does White's Wind Safety program correlate to the ISO process?
Just as WCI strives to consistently meet our client’s expectations through the ISO process, our wind safety program does the same.  It is our goal to not only meet, but exceed the desired safe work practices requested by our clients.  This is accomplished by providing our employees with the necessary training and education as well as a thorough orientation upon hire.  Building off the ISO requirements, we conduct safety audits to ensure that our safety standards are being followed and continuously provide the employees with safe work practices through Tool Box Topics on a regular basis as well as using any accident, incident or near miss as a learning opportunity though our Shared Learning discussions, which mirrors the continuous improvement requirement of ISO.  We hold our employees to the highest standards of professionalism and expect nothing less.  We listen to our clients and employees to ensure that we are providing the safest work environment possible. 
6. How does ISO guide you to ensure you have the resources and experienced employees on your wind projects?
Through the ISO certification process, we have developed a defined training curriculum that not only allows us to track an employee's training credentials, but identifies specific training needs, which ensures that we are delivering a qualified employee with the right skill requirements to perform the job successfully and at a high level of quality.  As far as resources, our ISO processes can help identify specific jobsite guidelines or regulatory requirements guaranteeing that we meet these specific customer and jobsite specifications facilitating that we built the project on time and on budget.
Training, employee evaluations, continual improvement, recognize customer comments and instill customer satisfaction
7. Has your ISO registration lead to increased field efficiency? 
Our defined processes has amplified our attention to detail and increased our performance level by identifying areas where we can minimize waste, which in turn has allowed us to give our clients a competitive price in the renewable energy business.  We have noticed an increase in our own employee's moral with the implementation of defined processes and roles, which has resulted in an increased dedication to not only our own company but to address our customer needs as well.  Our efforts have helped us with repeat business, strengthened client relationships by allowing us to monitor our client's satisfaction and our dedication to quality and service has helped us obtain new clients and open international doors.

The content & opinions in this article are the author’s and do not necessarily represent the views of AltEnergyMag

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