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Imprinted Apparel Graphics Company Expands Their Reach and Establishes Trust Thanks to ISO Certification
FiberLok is a 40-year-old company that specializes in dimensional graphics and branded apparel heat transfers & stickers. In essence, FiberLok is one of only 2 or 3 places in the world using advanced flocking techniques to create high-quality apparel graphics printed with fibers rather than ink. Started by an avid inventor named Brown Abrams, FiberLok holds over 100 patents and boasts such clients as the National Hockey League, Pepsi, and Major League Baseball. Even if the name of the company isn’t familiar, their work has been showcased on some of the world’s largest stages, including on uniforms worn during the World Series and the Superbowl.
After several decades of steady growth, FiberLok found themselves working with increasingly larger companies. As is often the case, the larger the company, the more in-depth the application process for potential vendors becomes and the more they want to know about required quality systems. Ultimately, when an automotive client approached FiberLok to let them know that they would need to obtain ISO certification in order to retain their business, they knew the time was right to level up. After meeting with a Regional Director from Manufacturer’s Edge, FiberLok decided to add a myriad of other services in addition to ISO, including huddles training and accountability mapping.
Over the course of several months, the team at FiberLok collaborated with Manufacturer’s Edge and the ISO experts at Cavendish-Scott to establish the necessary protocols and documentation to obtain their ISO certification. The tools and training they picked up along the way by using daily huddle meetings, sketching out specific metrics and accountabilities, etc. helped in the effort. According to FiberLok Vice President Alan Ziglin, the endeavor was successful thanks to unanimous buy-in throughout the organization–from top to bottom. And, although it was a significant effort that requires ongoing commitment and diligence, the results have been staggering. Not only was FiberLok able to retain the automotive client who asked them to get certified, but they have also picked up additional accounts based on their new designation. As Alan Ziglin points out, “We have more opportunities now. It’s one of the first things they ask if you want to become a vendor to a company. They want to know that they can have a different level of trust.”
ISO is like going from high school to college. You have to learn it and you have to own it. It’s a cultural and operational process change for the whole organization that you have to buy into the short-term and the long-term. And it’s worth it! It’s absolutely worth it. It’s a great thing for a company. You feel like you’re in an elite group and that you’re walking around with stars on your shoulders.- Alan Ziglin, Vice President/CFO