Tuesday, 31 July 2007 10:00

Akzo Nobel car refinishes site receives quality award

Akzo Nobel’s Automotive Plastic Coatings (APC) site at Garcia in Nuevo León, Mexico  received the coveted State Quality Award (Premio Nuevo León a la Calidad) after an exhaustive year-long audit and judging process which put the company’s management systems through a demanding series of tests and reviews. The highly prestigious award is in recognition of the facility’s continued commitment to operational excellence

“This is a great achievement and one we are all very proud of,” said Ivon Studer, QHS&E manager at the Garcia plant, who was also project leader for the award submission. “It’s a real benchmark which recognizes our efforts towards continuous improvement and confirms that we have achieved the best practice standard which is set by the award scheme.”

Added Conrad Keijzer, general manager of the APC business: “We’ve been working towards this award for a number of years and to be successful on our first attempt is testament to our commitment to delivering customer and stakeholder satisfaction. We constantly need to examine our performance in order to exceed expectations and receiving this recognition is a clear indication that we are on the right track.”

As part of the challenging three-stage review process, a 125-page report was submitted outlining the site’s ability to achieve continuous improvement in all of its operations and activities, including leadership, customer and stakeholder focus, business performance, commitment to the environment and human resource management. Finalists were then visited by an independent group of evaluators, who determined whether or not the award should be granted.

“A lot of hard work has gone into ensuring that we achieved the standards necessary to merit this award and the people involved deserve praise for their determination and commitment,” said Car Refinishes General Manager Jim Rees. “As a company we regard quality as being a cornerstone of our activities and this success makes us even more determined to keep challenging ourselves in the ongoing quest for continuous improvement.”

Winning the State Quality Award (in the Industrial category) is a stepping stone for the Garcia facility – which employs just under 100 people – in its ambition to achieve Mexico’s National Quality Award, which will benchmark the site against the best companies in the rest of the country.