Global Finishing Solutions® (GFS) is a family-owned and operated company, focused on our family of exceptional employees. With this “people-first” approach, our employees have every chance to flourish and make their mark. Each month, we spotlight a different department within the company, from our manufacturing floor to our office buildings.
At GFS, quality is everyone’s responsibility. From the quality of our processes to the end users’ product and overall experience, we take great pride in quality at GFS. Let’s learn a little more about the team behind quality management and continuous improvement:
Department name: Quality and Continuous Improvement
Number of employees: 4
Who they are: GFS’ quality and continuous improvement department is made up of four creative and process-minded individuals who strive to identify opportunities for improvement throughout the company.
What they are known for: The quality team regularly coordinates and participates in cross-departmental improvement efforts across all areas of the company. As GFS continues to grow, this department is heavily involved in developing new processes, implementing ISO and Lean Quality Management and helping people solve problems. By using best practices and industry standards to meet requirements, we are able to exceed the expectations of our customers.
How they make a difference: This group is dedicated to the overall guidance and maintenance of our Quality Management System, a system that documents processes, procedures and responsibilities for achieving quality policies and objectives. They help communicate the current state of quality and improvements to the company, while supporting individuals and processes, as well as sustaining quality throughout departments.
Hidden department fact: The quality department is the official storm shelter location in the Osseo office. Joe Hemenway, director of quality assurance and continuous improvement, jokes, “We don’t have to move during severe weather!”
GFS Team Members: Meet the Quality and Continuous Improvement Department
Being a small department, we were able to meet with each member of the quality and continuous improvement department. With many opportunities for GFS to improve, each member plays an important role in the long-term vision of our organization.
Among the four quality team members was a common characteristic — the desire to help people. As continuous improvement allows us to improve employee and customer experiences, they get excited each day to be able to encourage people to take ownership of their work and processes. Knowing that every day will present a different challenge or reward is motivational to this team.
Joel Carlsen, quality engineer, mentions that he loves learning about people — getting to know others on a personal and professional level is rewarding. It helps us identify and leverage each employee’s strengths, especially when it comes to improvement events and process creation. Andy Herrem backs this up with his assessment, “the people here are great, we get to work with so many diverse and intriguing people.”
Chad Schneider, the “Excel Guy,” mentions that being part of the continuous improvement team has given him unique professional opportunities. One of those opportunities was a continuous improvement mentorship with Dave Meier, founder and president of Lean Associates, Inc.
Working at GFS has also allowed these folks to explore their passions outside of GFS, such as traveling, creating music, playing the trumpet or, if you’re Joe Hemenway, running at lunchtime — about 500 miles per year during lunch breaks, including the cold Wisconsin winters!
Thank you for all of your hard work!