If you had been visiting Mystery Ranch on a Friday at the end of June, you would have been surprised by all the hooting and hollering.
If you worked at the Ranch, you would know that really, we do this all the time.
But this celebration was something different. Dana Gleason, with great fanfare, and in front of a floor of momentarily motionless sewing machines, had just announced that our ISO 9001:2008 registration audit was over – and our auditor was recommending us for certification!
Now, for the acronymically overwhelmed, that last sentence may mean very little at first glance. But for us, it means the culmination of over two years of preparation and effort put into our quality management system.
At the Ranch, we’re committed to upholding the highest standards in the industry for design, craftsmanship, improvements, and customer satisfaction. Not all gear is created equal, and we wanted to ensure that the quality management system that backs those high standards was also one of the best in the industry. After thorough research, several intense analyses of our existing system, and a few not-so-gentle nudges from potential customers in Europe and the fire industry, we chose to start work towards ISO 9001:2008 certification in October of 2012. We officially received our certificate on August 20, 2014.
ISO 9001:2008 is an internationally-recognized standard for the highest level quality management systems. Our certification is a proactive move that not only anticipates the demands of our customers, but also demonstrates our commitment to providing quality products and services. We’ve chosen to have this certification apply to all facets of our operations – the official statement is “The Design, Manufacture, Distribution, and Service of Load Bearing Equipment and Accessories.”
This certification is characteristic of a select group of top-level companies, and our commitment to it starts with our top management, and is fully embraced by all Mystery Ranch employees. Some companies keep their quality system somewhat separate from day-to-day operations, hiding the complexities and documentation from hourly employees. When they’re audited, they steer their auditor to the people who have been rigorously “prepped” for any possible questions.
The reason for all the loud celebration (even the dogs joined in), was because every single person at the Ranch was not only aware of what this certification meant to us, but was bought-in completely. Our auditor had free run of the facility, talked to many different employees from all areas, and left us with glowing reviews and the comment that “I would like to work here!”
To maintain our certification, Mystery Ranch will have an annual surveillance audit to ensure our policies and practices continue to meet the standard. As a result, you can be confident that Mystery Ranch will provide the same high quality packs and service well into the future. As our fire line manager, Brian Tai, says, “We’re in this for the long haul.”
Here’s to many more years of great packs and happy customers!