Quality at Smith is Certified: Breaking Down the 4Cs Quality Framework

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By: Kirk Wehby, Chief Operations Officer

Smith recently unveiled our new 4Cs quality framework, which outlines the four pillars of quality that serve as the foundation for our operations. As Smith’s Chief Operating Officer, I strive to ensure that our framework for quality excellence is unmatched by any other independent distributor. In this blog series, I will be breaking down each of the 4Cs – comprehensiveness, consistency, continuousness, and certification – to explain their place within the framework and the important role they serve in upholding the high level of quality our customers expect of us.

Our final C – certified – captures our commitment to demonstrable and measurable quality through our third-party-verified certifications and accreditations. At Smith, it is not enough to simply assert that we adhere to industry standards. We want our customers to rest assured that our products and services are formally vetted and carried out according to those standards, which is why we confirm our procedures with our documented third-party auditing and certification processes.

We stay informed about new opportunities to have our systems externally validated as a yardstick of industry reliability that also allows us to serve as an extension of our customers. For example, Smith’s quality engineers are certified to IPC-A-610 and J-STD-001 standards for printed circuit board assembly and soldering. While these procedures are outside of Smith’s scope of practice, they are essential to many of our customers’ operations. As such, it is crucial that we fully understand these techniques so we can exceed our customers’ requirements and provide the best possible products and services.

When we earn new qualifications at our headquarters in Houston, we don’t stop there. Instead, those qualifications flow from our headquarters out to each of our operational hubs to provide a framework for a comprehensive model of supply chain quality. For example, as Smith’s European footprint continues to expand, we’ve not only worked to continue building up our capabilities and equipment at our Amsterdam distribution center, but we also backed up those enhancements with five new certifications and qualifications last year. Our three operational hubs deliver the same trustworthy quality that our customers rely on, which is confirmed by our global certifications.

Keep an eye out here on our Market Blog and our LinkedIn page for more industry news, analysis and insights, and information about Smith’s quality program.

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