Think printing games is just putting ink on paper? Think again! Quality is Cartamundi’s pedestal: our Quality Team guards the production process like a watchdog, extensively monitoring the high-standard of games…
New Day, New Product Challenges
Every new customer request begins a different story. Each one challenges us to stay on our tippy toes and question ourselves. The manufacturing of the first cardistry deck is a fantastic example of that. Patrick Rutten, Senior Quality Engineer in Turnhout, shares a story that still occupies his mind: “Two young cardists approached Cartamundi with their vision. They’d even quit their jobs. Not one of our card types responded to what they had in mind. Problematic? No – just challenging. We flew to New York to visit Cardistry-Con and returned home with fresh ideas. We organised new tests and tried multiple types of carton, new varnishes, diverse cutting techniques… Next, to the numerous materials and pragmatic aspects of creation: we were also experimental with design. As the visual aspect of the cards is a priority in the cardistry community, our in-house designers created various versions. It took over 100 prototypes before reaching the one that both cardists approved of. What a relief it was when the design and prototype were warmly received! The orders came rolling in, wildly exceeding our first forecast-based expectations.”
Life as a Senior Quality Engineer
Improve quality – that’s the whole job! Our Quality Engineers are constantly thinking about how to improve games and products by defining, localizing, initiating and coordinating countless actions… KPI’s and regular reviews help us stay on track and evolve while we continually work out how to efficiently manage product costs, and maintain close relationships with suppliers and customers.
One of our sales representatives drafts a first estimate. Alongside the customer, we then work out any needs and expectations. If it’s something that fits within the capabilities of the production process it can happen in a heartbeat – but sometimes it takes a few meetings… When a potential customer is looking for something that isn’t available in the standard range, Sales reach out to the Quality department and they combine forces. We clarify our capabilities and suggest alternatives. In any case, we’re only happy when the customer’s happy: we carry on generating solutions until there are smiling faces on both sides!
Dealing with Quality Standards and Legislation
In regards to quality, we’re ISO9001 certified and, when talking about environment, we’re ISO14001 certified. Also, all Cartamundi card and board games are made with material approved by The Forest Stewarship Council (FSC), which promotes responsible management of forests. Legislation modifications are always communicated to us promptly but it’s not a process that occurs overnight. That means we can follow up with our suppliers, and adapt our internal structures and procedures. The same goes for situations in which customers have very specific requirements. We review their requests and make action plans to implement changes or necessary investments.
We Can’t Live Without Each Other
The Cartamundi vibe is based on a solid foundation of teamwork. And it doesn’t only manifest in the Quality department. Patrick Rutten elaborates: “I’m talking about every single employee at Cartamundi. During the entire process of games manufacturing, everybody works together. It allows everyone to submerge themselves in every part of the production process. Whether it’s a brainstorm with the designers about flow optimization, looking for a way to optimize the packaging techniques, or the development of new varnishes… Each individual gets a chance to learn every aspect of the job.” Cartamundi relies on the supervisors and operators. Their extensive knowledge – as a result of many years’ experience – creates an irreplaceable base from which all employees can benefit.