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Continuity of Supply and Efficiency: The Power of ISO 9001 in Cement Manufacturing

As a manufacturer, you’ll understand that continuity of supply is crucial to maintaining your reputation, customer loyalty and profitability in an increasingly competitive marketplace. However achieving a continuous supply of raw materials or finished products is difficult. Supply chains are increasingly complex and global, and susceptible to disruption with a wide range of factors from geopolitical unrest to extreme weather and climate change.

At Cemkem, we use the ISO 9001 (Quality Management Systems) global standard as a key tool for ensuring continuity of supply to our customers. It’s a framework that enables us to create strong supplier relationships and show our customers that we prioritise quality across our organisation.

In this guide, we’ll cover:

  • How we use ISO 9001 to ensure continuity of supply – for ourselves and our customers
  • Why many cementitious product manufacturers prefer to work with ISO 9001-certified suppliers
  • How our ISO 9001 certification has delivered value to our customers

Cemkem, certification, and supply chain success

As an ISO 9001 business, the whole Cemkem team knows just how big a deal it is to be accredited. You have to really believe in quality, as it takes considerable time, expense, and effort to review and align your business processes and procedures to meet all the requirements – and more again to stay aligned as your business grows and changes.

We have a strong commitment to quality that runs beyond Cemkem and throughout the Rakem Group – it’s a core value and has been part of our DNA since the beginning. The Rakem Group has been ISO 9001 certified since 2013, and adding Cemkem into our ISO 9001 certification was a logical step for us in 2019.

Together, the framework and our working processes enable us to:

  • Make and meet clear and consistent quality objectives for our products and services
  • Put in place quality management systems that enable us to rigorously monitor and control our processes and outputs
  • Identify risks and opportunities throughout our entire operation, including our own supply chain
  • Understand areas for improvement, through regular reviews and audits
  • Create clear channels of communication with customers (and our own suppliers) that promote dialogue including feedback

When you work with Cemkem you’ll see all of this in practice in every interaction you have with us. Not only because we value quality – and we really do – but because like all ISO 9001-certified businesses, we know that keeping our certification depends on it.

Choosing an ISO 9001-certified supplier

When you choose to work with an ISO 9001-certified supplier like Cemkem, it’s easy to understand how we’ll work, thanks to the framework and processes we mention above. You can rely on us being committed to good communication and continuous improvement, too.

At Cemkem, applying the ISO 9001 approach to supplier management delivers continuity of supply for our business. For example, part of how we address supply chain risk is by ensuring we have second suppliers for all of our key ingredients, in case there’s an issue with our primary source. In some cases we may have a third option for supply, or specific contracts that give us access to what we need. ISO 9001 also enables deeper relationships with our suppliers, for example, we have the procedures in place to ensure we have detailed product specifications – so that we only receive the highest quality products and ingredients.

And while continuity of supply for us enables continuity of supply for you, supporting the ISO 9001 framework also delivers you additional benefits. For example, dual sourcing of raw materials enables us to reliably deliver high quality products to our customers, but it also enables us to negotiate better pricing and remain competitively priced. And as part of evaluating supply options, we are able to discover new or innovative ingredients and products that can widen our raw materials portfolio.

These reasons, and more, are why many customers increasingly prefer to work with ISO 9001-certified suppliers like Cemkem, especially if they have achieved ISO 9001 themselves.

Delivering real value to our customers

Here are two examples of how ISO 9001 enables us to deliver value in practice.

Case study #1: Two-source toll manufacturing for an ISO 9001-certified organisation

We started working with this ISO 9001-certified customer when its technical team was struggling to keep up with business growth. We quickly became a trusted partner, delivering product development and regulatory support, plus confidential toll manufacturing to help the business to meet its order pipeline.

As part of this work, we were able to identify and deliver on the need for a second source of raw materials for production. Now, if there’s any issue with the plant producing the ingredients we need, we can seamlessly turn to another provider and ensure continuous manufacture for our customer, without the need for process changes.

With continuity of supply, our customer is more confident in our ability to manufacture their products as needed, maintaining manufacturing uptime and ensuring orders are fulfilled. But it also makes their own supply chain more robust, helping them to meet their own ISO 9001 responsibilities.

Case study #2: Using our robust supply chain to support others

During Covid, one of our ad hoc customers got in touch. They’d found themselves struggling with a critical supply issue for a main ingredient, with supplies that were hard to find and at prohibitively high prices. It was affecting their ability to meet their customers’ expectations.

As an ISO 9001-certified business, we have robust plans in place to ensure continuity of supply to our own business, with great supplier relationships that enable us to dual or even triple source for raw materials. We were able to leverage those relationships and, together with our technical knowledge, we found and tested an alternative ingredient for our customer to use.

It enabled our customer to create continuity of supply within its own business – and at a price tag they were happy with.

Find out more about improving your continuity of supply

We’re just as choosy about our supply chain as you are about yours, and that’s delivering results for our customers.

Contact us to find out more about our chemical supply services.