The ISO Factor

The period from the 70s to the 90s was once regarded as the “glory days” of SGS Holdings. The founder’s sons – the Second Generation – embarked on an aggressive expansion campaign. Business flourished and growth was remarkable.

Instead of reveling, one of the sons, Mr. Bonnie Gamboa (who is today the incumbent Chairman of the Board), became deeply concerned about the stability of the group. He knew that a family-run business has its limitations. Its simple and straightforward processes and low resource requirements would only work for small-scale operations.

The business expansion that was happening then would be an entirely different story. This in mind, the Chairman ventured to professionalize the family business through the establishment of processes, systems, and standards more suitable for a large-scale operation.

Enter, International Organization for Standardization (ISO).

The ISO standard introduced the Process Approach to the company. This approach stressed the importance of development, implementation, and management of standard processes in ensuring the quality, safety, and efficiency of products and services delivered.  This initiative required employees to undergo training programs on the critical facets of the ISO Quality Management System and Standards such as continual improvement,  audit, documentation, records-keeping, problem-solving, and corrective actions.

Since its launching, ISO has produced significant gains for the company in terms of process improvement. Operating processes have been defined, documented, and constantly updated. The scope of responsibilities and lines of accountability have been clearly drawn between process owners, thereby eliminating redundant tasks and activities. Accuracy and timeliness have stepped up in key departments and service areas particularly Accounting, Logistics, Warehousing, and Customer Service.

Playing crucial roles in ensuring the company’s ISO compliance are the Internal Auditors, Process Owners, Records-in-Charge, Document Controllers, and Quality Managers.

Steps to prepare the company’s migration to the ISO 9001: 2015 version are ongoing.

Notwithstanding, the Chairman stressed that the attainment of ISO certification is not itself the end goal, but the development of a mindset and culture of quality and efficiency among people, which should ultimately be reflected in results. This is why the company remains unwavering in its quest for continual improvement in all its processes, products, and services.