Our (positive) experience with the EASA Accreditation Program
Northwest Electric, LLC
Marketing & Industry Awareness Committee Member
Originally published in the January 2016 issue of Currents
I’m sure that many struggle with deciding on whether EASA accreditation is right for their business. At Northwest Electric, we, too, initially struggled with whether to follow that path. But after carefully evaluating the EASA Accreditation Program, we got on board with the goal of “raising the standard” by following the good practices of ANSI/EASA AR100. After completing the accreditation audit process, we couldn’t be more pleased with our decision.
When EASA first announced the accreditation program, we were a bit skeptical as to how this was going to fit our company and our customers. So we decided to spend some time to study all aspects of the accreditation program and what it required. We reviewed all the documentation EASA provided and still came away with questions of how this would work in our business. We reached out to EASA, and in typical EASA fashion, they quickly and thoroughly answered our questions and provided options on how we could cost effectively meet certain accreditation steps. With our questions answered and having a thorough understanding of the program, we decided it was time for us to “raise the standard” for our business.
Preparing for auditor
Once the decision was made, we spent some time evaluating our paperwork, processes, facilities and equipment in order to determine where we needed to improve in order to meet the accreditation program requirements. We compiled a list of items that needed improvement and began the process of addressing them one by one. Once we had that improvements list completed, we reviewed the accreditation program documents one last time to make sure we had everything covered. We then submitted application for all three of our locations to EASA, reached out to the 3rd party auditor and scheduled our audits.
To be frank, the requirement to work with the auditor made us a bit nervous. What would they find? How critical would they be? Would they be easy to work with? But after having several conversations with the auditor, we felt very positive and excited about the process. We felt as if they were a business partner coming in to help challenge us to improve and better ourselves.
The day of the audit came and, just as we had hoped, the auditor was extremely helpful, reviewing each accreditation item step by step. When the auditor noticed something wasn’t acceptable, he would help us develop a plan and solution to improve so we could meet the standards of the accreditation program. After he completed his initial audit, we had a few minor things he wanted to see corrected. Once we proved we had completed those items, he congratulated us on becoming accredited and offered up his assistance for any future issues or questions.
Shortly after that, we received emails from EASA stating each of our locations were officially EASA Accredited Service Centers. In the following months, we have spent time talking to customers about the EASA accreditation and what it means for them. Our customers have seemed very engaged and interested in the accreditation process and love that we are taking these steps to ensure efficient and reliable motor repairs.
Yes, initially the accreditation program seemed daunting. But after experiencing the process, seeing how it raises our standards and hearing positive feedback from our customers, I know we made the right decision.