Schneller Case Study

Schneller, Inc, a maker of high-tech, decorative surface laminates for the transportation and architectural industries, initially pursued ISO 9001 certification as a means of business and process improvement. In accordance with the ISO standards, policies and procedures were documented. However, Schneller took the documentation one step further and provided extensive detail for every process step.

After operating with certification to ISO 9001:1994 certification for 4 years, Schneller decided to upgrade its quality management system to ISO 9001:2000 with design. This standard focuses on the overall process and not specifically on documenting each step. Smithers Quality Assessments suggested that Schneller could leverage its certification to ISO 9001 certification as a means of streamlining the documentation process. SQA felt that there was an opportunity to simplify.

In early 2003, Innovative Quality Solutions Company (IQS) began working with Schneller personnel to identify areas for improvement. All business processes within the organization were identified. The processes were "mapped" and assessed for streamlining and improvement opportunities. Employees were involved in the effort. They helped provide insight as to "what" documentation was needed to run the operation and to meet all applicable requirements. With the guidance of Innovative Quality Solutions, a total "business system" was defined and documented.

The people from Schneller commented, "The documentation format proposed to us by Innovative Quality Solutions for our processes has dramatically improved process comprehension by our employees. The format makes it easier to understand and to follow the flow. It makes for much shorter, more focused documents."

As a result, Schneller generated a 30% reduction in the number of documents in the Business Management System! This was achieved by moving away from the “one document for each requirement” structure to a business process layout.

By focusing on the process, employees now easily understand their role in the process and what happens along the way. It also enables the following:

  • The information is now easily accessible for all users.
  • Internal Auditors have a much easier time determining what they should be looking for when conducting an audit and how to approach questions.
  • The improved process understanding by employees allows them to better understand the importance and impact of their roles.
  • There has been a dramatic reduction in approval time for documents, based upon the new documentation structure.

While the new ISO standard was the driving force for updating Schneller’s documentation, by taking this approach, they have dramatically improved the system overall. This has improved the company, enabling them to better meet the requirements of their customers.


About Schneller, Inc.

Schneller is a global leader in the development and production of engineered decorative laminates and non-textile flooring for the transportation and architectural industries. Schneller provides custom design and color-matching, material selection, continuous roll and sheet production from its ISO-9001 certified production facilities in Kent, Ohio and Pinellas Park, Florida with global sales and service support from its Paris, France facility.


About Innovative Quality Solutions Company

Innovative Quality Solutions Company is a full-service training and consulting company that provides guidance and support to customers seeking to achieve certification to appropriate standards (e.g., ISO 9001:2000 for the Healthcare Industry, AS 9100, ISO 14001, TS 16949). Our emphasis is on establishing a simple, straight-forward business management system while integrating continuous improvement techniques such as Lean and Six Sigma, as appropriate. They have offices located in Akron, Cleveland, Columbus and Medina and can be contacted via email at or visit: