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Consistent with our mission to design and build innovative ambulances that deliver on customer’s expectations and assist them in saving lives, we have developed and implemented our quality approach, through which Demers Ambulances pledges to offer its customers ground-breaking products and services with the quality level required to meet their expectations.
Quality is applied without compromise and the management team acknowledges that our workforce plays an essential role in obtaining it. We expect and put forth every effort in order to adhere to these principles.
The ability of Demers Ambulances to satisfy its customers also depends on suppliers performances. Consequently, we keep on building and maintaining a partnership relation with them by encouraging quality improvement.
Demers Ambulances’ commitment to quality is thus expressed through the following objectives:
The Quality Management System (hereafter named QMS) defined in the present manual applies to the sales, design, production, repairing and maintenance of ambulances in the production plant and service center of Demers Ambulances.
The quality system is defined through policies, procedures, quality plans and work instructions.
The policies summarize how the system meets ISO 9001:2008 different requirements. Whenever necessary, they refer to procedures and/or quality plans.
The procedures and quality plans specify the responsibilities and level of authority in regards to each stage necessary to achieve the mandates given to us. They also describe the normal flow of activities. Whenever required, they refer to work instructions explaining in detail how to perform a specific activity.
All documents mandatory to comply with the QMS within the organization are subjected to control in regards to their review, approval, modification and distribution. A reference list with the latest revisions and/or date of issue is published to avoid the use of non-valid or outdated information.
Any documents from external origin are controlled by the engineering department using the same management principles.
Data relating to quality, providing evidence of conformance and confirming that the QMS is operational, are filed to be easily accessible and are kept from damage or loss. The retention period is defined according to their respective relevancy.
The management of Demers Ambulances is fully aware that quality is a key element on which our credibility is built and that the QMS must be in continuous evolution to be efficient.
Therefore, mechanisms have been implemented to allow the effective deployment of the quality approach and ensure complete and entire commitment of the whole organization; given that quality policies answer the needs of the market.
At least once per year, a formal review of our quality processes is performed through a Management Committee where measurable departmental quality objectives are determined and revised. The points reviewed are, among others, audit results, customer feedback (including service calls, information transmitted concerning final product quality and any other communications), processes and conformity of the product, preventive and corrective actions results, changes affecting the QMS and improvement recommendations. This review is documented on meeting minutes.
A representative of senior management, namely the Quality Coordinator, has been appointed and given the responsibility and authority to:
Responsibilities, authorities and relations between persons who manage, execute and verify tasks which have a direct impact on quality are outlined in the procedures.
Each head of department has to identify the human resources, training and material needs and set the quality objectives of his department.
The personnel’s qualification is based on a procedure emphasizing practices for hiring of skilled people. Every employee is selected on the basis of appropriate know-how and any other required training.
Department leaders evaluate the training needs of the employees under their responsibility according to qualification criterion, new markets and evolving technologies as well as identified weaknesses or flaws. A file detailing the training, skills, experience and competency for all employees is updated as needed.
The management of all requirements for maintenance of equipments and facilities is determined and registered on forms.
Finally, processes are implemented to ensure a appropriate work environment, which advocates efficiency, health and security for all employees.
Mechanisms are effective at Demers to manage all aspects of communication with our customers. Therefore, modalities are defined concerning sales and orders to determine strategies to be deployed. As well, after-sales provisions are the objects of quality plans that define the course of action to properly understand and adduce customer’s expectations.
The Engineering department of Demers Ambulances represents the entry door toward realisation. Therefore, it is subjected to the company’s QMS. It ensures contract review for orders and validates design, developing products as per our specifications and/or customer’s specific requirements.
Processes are defined for follow up and validation of design steps. If modifications are necessary, the Engineering department is responsible for corroboration and approval.
Suppliers and sub-contractors are evaluated and selected on the basis of their ability to meet our specifications, including those from the QMS. Suppliers and subcontractors are subjected to established reviews, audits and/or evaluations.
Whenever required, our purchasing and sub-contracting orders include specifications relating to their quality system and/or quality assurance activities essential for the completion of the contract, including the verification of products by Demers Ambulances or its customer at the sub-contractor’s facility. By doing so, we are promoting a safe and sound partnership with them.
If a process needs to be outsourced, the type and scope are determined and controlled through our purchasing process.
All main phases of realisation, having a direct impact on product’s quality is the object of a written procedure, quality plan and/or work instruction. Each department head is responsible for the publication and enforcement of the documentation describing the activities of their respective sector.
During work in process, vehicles are identified by product codes and work order numbers. Finished vehicles are identified and indexed by serial numbers and specific codification. This identification makes upward and downward traceability achievable in the production plant and up to the end user.
When raw material or components are customer supplied, they are treated in accordance with our internal inspection, identification and preservation procedures; exception made that we will advise the customer if any damage or non-conformance occurs and a record will be kept.
Demers Ambulances’ facilities are organized to ensure employee’s and product’s protection. Raw material and in-process components are transported using conveyers, hoists, skids, racks or carts throughout the manufacturing process. Warehousing and delivery specifications are established for all vehicles to ensure protection and preservation.
Our vehicles being evaluated by their technical efficiency as well as their esthetical features, we use specific monitoring, measuring equipment and defined methods to make sure each stage of production has been respected and that conformance, including customer specifications, are met.
Some of this equipment is verified internally with simple methods described in instructions and at a determined frequency. Other test equipments are calibrated by external firms which provide us with certifications relating to national and/or international standards. A list of equipment calibration is in force to warrant follow-up of this process
In order to validate that our vehicles meet specified demands, verifications are performed at appropriate phases of our production process by qualified personnel, from raw material receiving to finished product shipping. Final inspection ensures that all production and inspection activities were performed. It also certifies that all remaining concern was addressed properly.
Monitoring and measuring status is easily observable by the inspection results of our employees. Final assessment is confirmed by the inspection records demonstrating successful completion of vehicles and readiness for use.
All raw materials, vehicles in process or finished, or returned by customer, considered non-conforming are identified to avoid unintentional use. Each case is reviewed to determine appropriate disposition to either bring the product to conformance or dispose of it in a proper manner. If reworked, the product is submitted for inspection to certify conformance. If the disposition requires a waiver for acceptance, it is reviewed with the customer or its representative for approval.
Analysis is made on the basis of compiled data of internal and external non-conformance. With these results, we are able to pinpoint weakness and improvement opportunity. They are part of the indications used to determine quality objectives for each department.
Mechanisms have been implemented to investigate actual and/or potential sources of non-conformance and to highlight flaws and/or weak points in our QMS.
Customer service calls, recurring non-conformance and major discrepancies identified will engage these mechanisms and generate, whenever required, corrective actions and/or modification to the QMS to prevent recurrence.
Internal audits are planned and conducted in order to ensure that quality related activities and their results are in accordance with the implemented QMS, and to determine its efficiency. Audit results are evaluated during management reviews to pinpoint improvement opportunities.
When customers call upon our services, they associate with a team that is proud of its vehicles.
Though the QMS cover the entire realisation management from sales to after-sale service, the team is ready and willing to establish and maintain any new process to meet specific demands of a customer.
By doing so, Demers Ambulances demonstrate and confirm its mission to build innovative ambulances that deliver on customer expectation and assist them in saving lives.