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UniFirst sets industry pace in ISO Certifications
May '11
In a leading industry effort reflecting its commitment to customer service and continuous quality improvement, UniFirst, a provider of work uniforms, uniform rentals, and facility service products to businesses throughout North America, announced that more than 50 of its locations have now earned ISO 9001:2008 quality certification.

Issued by the International Organization for Standardization, ISO certification represents global recognition of a company's ability to meet specified quality standards. UniFirst's certifications, in particular, reflect that its customer service operations consistently meet ISO criteria for the delivery of high quality products and services to its more than 225,000 business customers in the U.S. and Canada. With more than 200 UniFirst facilities, the company has plans for ISO certifying all its plant operations over the next few years.

"ISO certification clearly demonstrates that we take quality and customer satisfaction very seriously," says Adam Soreff, Director of Communications at UniFirst. "Many companies make claims about quality; being ISO certified provides a level of 'proof' of our commitment to excellence in quality and continuous improvement."

Soreff says the ISO certification process takes up to five months for each location to complete. During that period, detailed policies and procedures related to maximizing productivity, efficiency, and quality standards are formally documented and implemented. All operational protocols are then incorporated into ongoing employee training programs and notifications are sent to applicable vendors mandating their compliance to the ISO standards set for UniFirst. Ultimately, independent auditors validate each location's quality control program and ensure benchmarks are set and reached. UniFirst's ISO audits are conducted by Perry Johnson Registrars, an internationally accredited authority that maintains offices in the U.S., Canada, Asia, and Europe.

"Audits are not a one time occurrence," Soreff says. "To maintain ISO designation, each location is required to undergo periodic reviews to ensure they're maintaining a robust quality control system, and strictly adhering to all the documented processes and procedures to provide only the best products and services possible to our customers."

UniFirst Corporation

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