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 STEVENSON, Ala., Sept. 27 /PRNewswire/ -- Mead Containerboard today announced that its corrugating medium system has been registered with the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) in Geneva, Switzerland. This makes the Stevenson facility the first mill in the Mead Corporation to receive ISO 9002 quality assurance certification.
 ISO 9000 is an international series of standards for quality management and quality assurance. ISO 9002, specifically, is a model for quality assurance in production and installation.
 "In order to keep up with the changing needs of our customers, Mead Containerboard is committed to continuous improvement in the quality of our corrugating medium and customer service," said Richard P. Rossetti, division president. "ISO registration is another means of ensuring product and service excellence."
 Mead Containerboard is one of the nation's largest manufacturers of corrugating medium, the fluted inner layer which adds bulk and strength to corrugated boxes. The division also makes corrugated point-of- purchase displays and containers used for shipping fresh and packaged foods, poultry, furniture, appliances, paper and allied products.
 Mead's ISO 9002 registration covers the manufacture of pulp and containerboard at the division's mill in Stevenson, Ala., as well as sales, marketing, scheduling and customer service provided from its division headquarters in Atlanta.
 "It's unusual to include marketing and customer service in a quality system designed for a manufacturing facility, but we see them as critical parts of the overall process of delivering quality to customers," said Mary Jo Karoleski, division manager, environmental/ quality.
 Karoleski spearheaded the ISO registration process, along with John Lovelady, Mead's pulp mill and quality system manager in Stevenson. Working together with eight teams assembled from more than 300 employees across the division, they were able to secure ISO registration in less than a year. The process typically takes two years. "Fortunately, Stevenson never had have the old mill attitude -- that if it's round and brown, it's out the door," said Karoleski. "But employee empowerment and an emphasis on continuous quality improvement have helped us focus on controlling the manufacturing process in new ways. We're concentrating now on making the product right the first time."
 One unique feature of Mead's registration effort was the series of baseline audits it conducted early on to assess quality system requirements. Audit teams of hourly and salaried workers from different departments met with colleagues in other departments to analyze their records and procedures. Inspections were held and any deficiencies discussed with the managers in charge. The audited departments were responsible for taking their own corrective action, a process that offered new opportunities for employees to use their skills and abilities.
 So far this year, the Stevenson mill is ahead of last year's production levels. But then, breaking records is a tradition at Stevenson, one that Lovelady expects will continue. "We expect to see productivity gains continue and the amount of cull, or rejected product, to diminish over time," he said.
 Work has already begun on registering quality systems for Mead's eight converting facilities that manufacture shipping containers. The division's goal is that they, too, will be ISO certified by the end of 1994.
 Mead Corporation (NYSE: MEA), headquartered in Dayton, Ohio, is a leader in forest products and electronic publishing.
 -0- 9/27/93
 /CONTACT: Sherri Musgrove of Mead, 404-951-3870/

CO: Mead Containerboard ST: Alabama IN: PAP SU:

KL-BM -- CL011 -- 6031 09/27/93 15:33 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Sep 27, 1993

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