As Company Expands, Commitment to Quality Continues as a Priority
May 19, 2016
Providing quality products to their customers is and has always been a top priority at Solomon Corporation. As the company grows and expands its reach in new locations, we are implementing processes to guarantee that our equipment is consistent across the board.
When Mark Bazely joined Solomon Corporation as Director of Process Management in February 2016, he observed that providing a quality product was so ingrained in the company’s culture that it was an unspoken priority for every employee.
“When I arrived, Solomon had no team who was responsible for quality initiatives, but because it is intrinsic in the culture here, the quality of what we produce is amazingly high,” he said. “But, that doesn’t mean there aren’t ways to improve.” In addition to quality control, Mark will also focus on supply chain management.
Solomon recently opened its fifth location in Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin. With the growth the company expects to achieve in the coming years, it is essential to manage quality control and processes, while still meeting the fast turnaround times Solomon customers have come to expect.
Mark joined the company after 17 years at John Deere and has more than 30 years of experience in leadership with significant focus on capital projects management. He has worked in a variety of industries, including food, chemicals, stamping, plating, and manufacturing of agricultural and construction class products.
At John Deere, Mark progressed through managerial roles in Quality, Engineering, and Operations in the U.S. and in Canada. Before joining Solomon, in his most recent role, he spearheaded a significant investment in the US and Mexico to modernize and increase capacity for Deere’s hydraulic cylinder business.
Mark earned a bachelor’s degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of Waterloo in Ontario and a Masters of Business Administration from the University of Iowa. He has also worked for such companies as Kraft General Foods and American Cyanamid in various engineering roles before joining John Deere.
Mark’s immediate priorities were improving processes and the quality of the products we supply to our customers. When it comes to quality, the challenge often is defining it, which is why organizations write specifications. Mark cites a definition offered by Joseph M. Juran, a pioneer in the field of quality management. He said quality is best measured by “fitness for use,” which is defined by the customer. “When you spend a little time thinking about this,” Mark said, “it’s about our customers’ expectations and whether our products and services measure up to those expectations.”
Maintaining the Culture of Quality
What he found upon arrival at Solomon surprised him, Mark admits. “From management to production, quality is intrinsic in the culture at Solomon,” he said. “But, they are still open to new ideas and new processes. It’s very trusting and collaborative. Other places I’ve worked haven’t been this way.”
Mark said he immediately felt comfortable in his new role. “Quality is absolutely part of my DNA,” he said. “And it has been at Solomon. I’ve never been in an environment where new ideas were accepted so easily. We’re all working towards providing our customers with a superior product.”