Newgate Hurdles Barriers to Growth with Quality Accreditation
Newgate is one of the UK’s market leaders within the traffic barrier and gate industry – designing, manufacturing and fitting automated and manual barriers, gates and blockades.
A traditional company, based in Newark in Nottinghamshire, Newgate is founded on family values and employs almost 90 people, many of whom are fathers and sons, brothers and sisters, and mothers and daughters.
The company was established in 1984 and now boasts some of the country’s most well-known blue-chip companies in its long list of clients. Wherever you go – whether to the shopping centre or the train station – it’s likely you have experienced one of Newgate’s systems.
Identifying potential barriers
Newgate has grown by ensuring the highest of quality for its workmanship and by listening and responding to its customer’s needs. By taking this approach, the company recognised that to continue its growth, it needed to provide its customers with a mechanism by which they could guarantee their supply chain.
David Truman, Newgate’s General Manager, explains: “Our products are site specific and bespoke to our clients’ needs. Over the years we have gained a significant reputation for the quality of our products, but nowadays that is not enough. We are members of the Door Hardware Federation, which provides a level of assurance, but I knew from previous roles that the ISO standards tell customers we are serious about what we do, that we are continually looking to improve, not only in what we produce but how we do it.”
Opening the door
In 2012, Newgate embarked on its accreditation journey and decided to go for all three quality standards – ISO9001:2008 Quality Management Systems, ISO14001 Environmental Management Systems and OHSAS 18001 Occupational Health and Safety.
“I had implemented ISO standards at a previous company and therefore knew what to expect, but I was surprised we gained all three accreditations in just six months,” comments David. “We worked with Peter and David from Independent Advice for Business who really simplified the process for us and supported us to put a Newgate team together to ensure the process really worked for us.”
The accreditation process came at just the right time for Newgate:
Shelley Messenger, Newgate’s Sales and Marketing Manager explains: “We were exploring the potential of developing a new barrier system for Network Rail, in partnership with Atkins Rail, while working to achieve the accreditations, and by being able to demonstrate that we were well on our way to gaining them helped us to continue with the development of that project.”
“Having the accreditations has also simplified the tender process for us and increased opportunities for us to bid for work. We are the preferred supplier for some 500 companies and we noticed, once we had achieved the standards, that they were increasingly asking for those accreditations to remain on their supplier lists, particularly the main contractors for commercial developments, who need to be able to assure every aspect of their supply chain.”
The standards have also supported Newgate to continually improve its operations: “By having a greater awareness of our processes we have been able to minimise any margin for errors and truly ensure that we learn from every job. We have implemented a non-conformance register, which is reviewed by the management team’s positive improvement group and helps us to identify where we need to make improvements,” adds Shelley.
The standards have also helped Newgate to improve its environmental impact and its approach to health and safety.
“We have always been a conscientious company, but by having more standardised systems in place for our health and safety and environmental management has helped us to make subtle changes, each of which have added up to significant improvements over the years, for both the company and our employees. These include putting place measures that have significantly reduced our accident rate. By changing our lighting to LEDs has not had a financial reward, but has also helped us to reduce our impact on the environment, particularly from the paint shop, which can sometimes be operational for 12 hours a day,” explains David.
Keeping the door open to growth
Since gaining the accreditations Newgate has continued to go from strength to strength, experiencing a 25% growth in the first half of 2017 alone. To ensure that growth continues, and that they stay ahead of their competitors, Newgate was one of the first of Independent Advice for Businesses’ clients to achieve the new ISO9001:2015 Quality Management System standard, alongside ISO14001:2015 Environmental Management standard
“We know it is important that we continue to develop as a company so we can continue the amazing growth we have experienced recently. Contract values are increasing and the trust we have built with our clients has meant that orders are not only for single units, but multi-disciplinary items, which means we need to be performing to the highest levels across the business.
“Achieving the ISO9001:2015 and ISO14001:2015 standards not only tell our clients that we are forward thinking, but also helps us to look at different ways of doing things and we are now focussing on embedding the standards across all aspects of our business, so we can improve our production line and engage all our staff in driving quality improvements across the organisation. We area already doing some amazing things, but we know we can always do those even better!” concludes Shelley.