The planets aligned!
Tecpetrol Ecuador has certified for the ISO 9001 Quality Standard, the step needed for it to secure the much sought-after Trinorm. This is not just the end of a road, it’s the start of a brand new one.
The news was broken in Tecpetrol Hoy: in Ecuador, the team was finalizing the last steps of the project they had been working on for quite some time, to certify for ISO 9001 in Quality, enabling them to complete the coveted Trinorm. The great news was that the certification was achieved with flying colors.
The story goes like this: “Two years ago, we held a series of workshops in the Northern region, focusing on meetings to integrate different operations and develop projects. Our team proposed the implementation of a Quality Management system at one of our sites. In those days, the standard was already in effect at the Pesquería Power Plant, Mexico, something that enabled us to learn more about the challenge we were facing. This is how our path to ISO 9001 began.
These are the words of Ronald Manosalvas, Sr. Manager of Health, Safety & Environment (HSE) in Ecuador. “We had already achieved ISO 14001 for Environment and ISO 45001 for Occupational Health and Safety. The new project was our bid to achieve Quality certification, an effort which received the full approval of Management. This was a huge task, involving a major effort not just from our own area, but from the entire operation.” The development of the activities included bringing an external advisor on board, as well as adding a Quality Team Leader and acquiring an implementation methodology by holding workshops, attended by managers, heads of area and supervisors, both in the Quito offices and in the field.
The entire operation was focused on achieving the same goal, in true Tecpetrol style: “The fabulous thing about this new quality system is that it wasn’t developed by some external consultant but by ourselves. The system feels very personal and perfectly suited to our needs.”
“We also wanted to do something light that could be replicated elsewhere if necessary. We relied on what we were already doing in order to create something of our own: Human Resources skills and competencies training systems, the qualification and evaluation of the companies in our Supply Chain, and our own HSE system.”
Finally, it was time for the evaluation. “We were visited by a team from Bureau Veritas who first inspected the Quality System. When they had verified that it was properly set up, we went into the second stage, which lasted five days. Here, we worked simultaneously in the field and in Quito.” Everybody made a huge effort to help the auditors with their tasks on different fronts.
Ronald is particularly enthusiastic about the way in which the certification was achieved. “The auditors found solid, sturdy processes, and singled out the excellence of the control of our operations, how we kept checks on suppliers and contractors, and the monitoring tasks carried out by management. They were very interested to see how deeply people were committed to the Management System. What we are most proud of is that we passed all the audits without any nonconformities. In fact, the external auditor was only able to remember one other organization that had managed to pass a Trinorm audit like this. It was a really long process, we invested a great deal of effort and time into all the preparation,” he remembers. Smiling, he adds that, “it’s impossible to name everyone who took part in this extraordinary achievement. From those who took those first steps two years ago, who designed the project and led each process, to our directors, those who are here today and those who were with us before. This has only been possible thanks to all of them.”