Concrete Canvas Ltd, Pontypridd: (Case Study)

Marcin Kujawski, Quality and Technical Manager, Concrete Canvas:

 “Having ISO 9001 certification has opened up new global markets for our products so it makes commercial sense. It also fitted into the management systems we already had in place and all employees in the company network can access it.

“Implementing ISO in a Box™ was easier than I expected. My experience of implementing ISO 9001 at a previous company was a much more difficult process so when Concrete Canvas made the decision to go for certification, I had a lot of worries.

“From the first meeting with our Equas consultant, Mark Pendleton, I could see he had the experience to get us to where we needed to be. He was superb, probably one of the best people I have ever collaborated with on a project.”

The Company

Established in 2005, the company developed and manufactures a flexible concrete impregnated fabric that hardens on hydration to form a thin, durable waterproof and fire-resistant concrete layer.  Essentially, it’s concrete on a roll and it is widely used in the construction industry as a liner that protects surfaces from deterioration and weathering erosion.  It’s quick and easy to install, eco friendly, highly durable and reduces overall project costs.

The company also manufacture Concrete Canvas Shelters; rapidly deployable hardened shelters that require only air and water to construct and are ready for use in just 24 hours.

This ground-breaking technology has won a string of awards, most recently the prestigious Queen’s Award for Innovation in 2014.

The Challenge

Named by The Times in its ‘Best of British Manufacturing’ league, Concrete Canvas has grown into a £5million+ business with around 85% of its sales coming from exports.

Although the company had been considering implementing ISO 9001 for some time, customers had not been demanding that Concrete Canvas have the Standard as a prerequisite to doing business with them.

The trigger came when Concrete Canvas targeted a potential key customer based in Brazil and for them, ISO 9001 certification was non-negotiable; it was mandatory if the company was to become a supplier.

Methodology

As the company had already been operating for 10 years, it already had its own set of systems and procedures in place and these had served it pretty well. These were based around a Microsoft Office and Windows environment, which is entirely compatible with Equas’s ISO in a Box 9001 system. According to Mark Pendleton, ISO in a Box™ was the most appropriate tool to upgrade their existing systems and achieve 9001 certification. The company opted for a full system build by Equas but in the event, Marcin wanted to be fully involved in its implementation. He proved to be highly competent with Mark offering support, advice and guidance.

Once all the files were cleaned, updated and documented, they were migrated across to ISO in a Box™  along with a number of new processes that were needed. The upshot was that all management-related documents were now in once place and easy to access, saving a lot of time (and stress!).

Benefits

With the new schedules and logs, Concrete Canvas can now easily track how the business is performing in real time. It also provides longer-term visibility of production requirements to meet customer orders and flags up tasks that need to be done.

As the company continues to exploit new markets, the consensus is that having ISO 9001 certification will be an important factor in winning new business.