Case Studies
Case Studies

In 1987 Quality Associates International Limited was formed. QAI specialises in providing solutions to business problems.

QAI began as a partnership operating in the Auckland region but within two years had established offices in Christchurch and Wellington which gave the Company national coverage.

QAI also established offices in Melbourne and Brisbane with associate offices in Sydney and Adelaide.

Typical cross section of Clients

2 "Top 5"

Chartered Accountants (Australia & New Zealand).

QAI worked with the Audit and Tax divisions to design and implement systems which effectively focused on the ‘risk management’ aspects of the Company’s operations.

As a direct result, the "key performance indicators" showed a significant drop in:

  • Client complaints.
  • Write offs.
  • Litigation.
  • Non – profitable engagements.

And a rise in:

  • Chargeable hours.
  • Profitability.

The work culminated in one of these firms became the first worldwide to achieve certification to ISO 9001.


Carter Holt Harvey, Forestry

QAI established operating and management systems for all of the North Island forestry sub-contractors to CHH, resulting in a common raising of standards and operational efficiencies of the contractors, whilst reducing the number of man hours spent by CHH on managing and supervising their operations.

All contractors achieved certification to the Q Base Quality Code.


Auckland Employers Association

QAI worked with the Association to improve the operating efficiency of the three primary functions of its service provision, Vis a Vis: Legal. Training. Membership. Drake Personnel & Labour Hire. (Australia) Catalyst Recruitment. (Australia) Hartmann Personnel Consultants (Australia) QAI worked with the above companies to establish and design the most effective and efficient operating systems and methodologies setting benchmark standards for the industry in Australia. All the above attained certification to ISO 9002 with Catalyst Recruitment later franchising their operations and marketing their systems to other similar companies.


Don Small Goods. (Melbourne, Australia).

At Don Small Goods QAI was engaged to improve the overall operating efficiency of all aspects of its operations excluding Finance. These were:

  • Warehousing & Dispatch.
  • Food processing.
  • Planning & scheduling.
  • Product Design.
  • IT Support.
  • Product Testing.
  • Process Traceability & Product Recall.

The company subsequently achieved certification to ISO 9001 and was also the first company in Australia to gain the AQIS food safety standards. This negated the need for third party verification of hygiene standards. The direct saving to the company was $320 000.00 per annum.

The Company also experienced a significant rise in market share.


Ferro Plastics; Plastic masterbatch producers

QAI was initially engaged to steer the Company to ISO 9002 but the engagement became one of total re-structuring of the manufacturing and warehousing operations.

By the time certification to ISO was achieved, a significant reduction in waste and reject batches was achieved with a corresponding rise in productivity and profitability.


Watermark Australia (Patent Attorneys)

Watermark were the first Patent Attorneys to achieve ISO 9001 internationally.

The work undertaken to reach that standard resulted in the Professional staff increasing their chargeable hours by over 10%.

This was achieved by re-designing their methodologies, re-focusing responsibilities and improving the training programmes employed.


New Zealand Breweries

QAI was engaged by New Zealand Breweries to organise the Salesforce. This was done by:

  • Balancing territories on a national basis.
  • Establishing journey plans.
  • Establishing ‘high potential’ customers and design the journey plan call patterns accordingly.
  • Training the Salesforce to ‘self manage’ their territories and be accountable for expenditure and profitability.

The work resulted in a reduction of Salesforce numbers in the South Island whilst achieving a rise in market share and a reduction in operating costs across all territories.

QAI later carried out a similar exercise with the Beer Systems and Merchendising personnel.

The various skills employed to achieve the above include:

  • Salesforce management and methodologies.
  • Strategic Planning. Manufacturing methodologies.
  • Waste reduction.
  • Process improvement and efficiencies.
  • Logistics.
  • Training.
  • ISO 9000 and 14000 implementation.
  • OSH
  • Food Safety implementation.
  • Re-engineering.
  • Quality Awards.

QAI has, in the intervening years, successfully worked with nearly 200 companies in various capacities.


Textile Fashion Exterior Products

Terms of Reference:

To restructure the company’s production operation which was experiencing poor production and quality problems, heavy operating losses and personnel problems.

Short Term:

To establish the viability of retaining the manufacturing operation to profitably manufacture the total requirements of the Ackmead Holdings ‘Texstyle’ Division.

Medium Term:

To establish the viability of manufacturing requirements of the remaining divisions for the Ackmead Holding Group; specifically to introduce the manufacturing of:

  • Textile Samples.
  • Domestic Curtaining and,
  • Fibre Shoulder Pads.

Long term:

To evaluate and recommend complimentary manufacturing to further enhance the Ackmead Holding Group.

On establishing the short term goal as a viable option, it was then required to implement the recommendations contained in the Feasibility Report, as follows:

  • To select a factory unit which would accept not only the manufacturing division but also two storage and distribution facilities.
  • The selection, design and purchase of machinery and ancillary equipment necessary to achieve optimum manufacturing efficiency at an acceptable level of expenditure.
  • To design a factory layout which would optimise the available area.
  • To ensure the timely evacuation of the redundant buildings and a smooth occupation of the new, by co-ordinating the various activities necessary for such an operation.
  • To implement a training programme for all employees to further enhance skills and to educate same in the operations of the new control systems to be employed.
  • The design and implementation of a production control system. The design and implementation of a standard costing system.
  • The design and implementation of a formal production planning system.
  • The design and implementation of a quality control system.
  • Involvement at the design stage of all new products to ensure that production considerations were built into the design and that all new products were sampled and approved before the commencement of ‘on-line’ production.
  • To monitor and report on the efficiency and profitability of the new operation.


Onehunga Woolen Mills Limited (Carpet yarn manufacturing). (Honomiro Spinners Ltd)


  • To divorce the weaving and yarn manufacturing operations, establishing two autonomous companies, which would be responsible for their own financial performance.
  • The relocation of the weaving warehousing and distribution operations.
  • An investment programme to establish the yarn manufacturing unit as a ‘commission yarn’ manufacturing company enabling it to diversify into the manufacture of specialised carpet yarns, (of which there was a worldwide shortage) as well as the retention of weaving yarn manufacture. To achieve this an investment of NZ$6.5 million on plant acquisition and upgrading and NZ$0.75 million on building expansion/alterations was required.

Having had the feasibility report accepted, the implementation of the report recommendations was required. Responsibilities included:

  • Taking charge of the overall project.
  • Chair the Steering Committee, which was to monitor the progress of the project.
  • Liaison with architects and builders to ensure adherence to a pre-determined building timetable and to contain expenditure within budget limits.
  • To liaise with machine suppliers, machine manufacturers and shippers to ensure the adherence to delivery dates was maintained and budgets achieved.
  • To report monthly on progress to the Board of Directors.
  • The design of the factory layout ensuring a balanced workflow through the various departments was achieved.
  • To design and implement the control systems mentioned in the "Texstyle" operation.
  • The evaluation of currently available integrated manufacturing computer systems with the ultimate objective of recommending the most appropriate for the mill's requirements.
  • Responsible for the day to day management of the operation.


Butland Industries, Industrial Engineer
(Manufacturers of dairy and canned products)

Projects Undertaken:

  • The design and implementation of a computerised inventory control system.
  • The rationalisation of the company’s warehousing facilities.
  • To reduce the high waste factor being experienced by the natural cheese-packing operation.
  • To investigate the viability of retaining a contract packing operation for the New Zealand Dairy Board.
  • To establish the viability of retaining the company’s canning operations.
  • To evaluate requests for capital purchases.


Dorman Smith Britmac
(Manufacturer of electrical switch gear & componentry)
Industrial Engineer


  • Engagement Brief To undertake feasibility studies on the implications of mass production of the prototype products conceived by the Research and Development Team.
  • To source and purchase the machinery and equipment necessary to implement production.
  • To ensure that ease of production was designed into all new products. The design of all new production lines.
  • The installation of production standards previously determined for the feasibility study.
  • The training of personnel before and during the commissioning of new lines.
  • The commissioning and fine-tuning of the assembly lines prior to the handover to production management.
  • The policing and maintenance of all lines to ensure efficiency standards were maintained.