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SATRA Quality Services working for your brand

How SATRA assists companies to establish and maintain test laboratories to world-class standards.

by Stuart Morgan

In every industry, including shoemaking, the ability to prove the quality of finished goods or components is an important sales tool. That is why the SATRA Quality Services (QS) team, led by Ian Herbert, provides accreditation and certification services for laboratories, both of which play a crucial role in controlling and demonstrating quality. Achieving this is a vital contribution in raising the supplier’s value in the eyes of its customers, and it can help to instill confidence throughout the supply chain and improving brand loyalty.
Each member of the QS team has considerable experience in the fields of footwear and leather. This has enabled them to assist many SATRA members to develop total control of the tests conducted in their laboratories. The QS team can also introduce an optimum speed and cost of testing, which can lead to reduced levels of factory rejects and returns from purchasers.

Conducting a rigorous assessment

Companies can be helped by SATRA to establish laboratories. This service includes the provision and calibration of all testing, measurement and inspection equipment, and the training of the technicians who will be responsible for conducting the testing procedures. The QS team has experienced auditors who can conduct an in-depth and meticulous assessment of the laboratory’s facilities and staff. This assessment identifies if the company is able to correctly work with particular test methods and standards, which can ultimately lead to gaining SATRA accreditation status.

Recognised throughout the global footwear and leathergoods industries, SATRA’s Accredited Laboratory programme provides an authoritative stamp of quality. Those manufacturers and material suppliers which qualify can present accurate and meaningful test data, and resourcing companies benefit from a more reliable evaluation of products and a general improvement in both product quality and fitness for purpose.
“An increasing number of manufacturers and distributers are choosing to establish in-house test facilities in order to verify the quality of their products and incoming materials,” said Mr Herbert. “Independent accreditation by a recognised industry body such as SATRA is critical in validating the performance of these facilities and demonstrates a company’s commitment to quality, helping to attract and retain customers.”

Introducing the team

QS team leader Ian Herbert is well qualified to advise members on quality systems and laboratory testing. He has over a decade’s experience as an IRCA certified auditor, and helps to establish and accredit test laboratories in footwear manufacture, leather production and other industries. He also has extensive experience in calibrating a wide range of laboratory test machines to national and international standards.

David Wright graduated from the National Leathersellers College in 1987. Two years later, after gaining experience in local leather production, he joined SATRA, where he gained further experience working with the research team, testing laboratories and chemistry department. Since 2009, he has worked in the QS team as an IRCA certified auditor and calibration technologist.

With eight years’ experience in the footwear testing field, having specialised in safety footwear products, Aaron Brookes has been a member of the QS team for just under a year. He has conducted several test equipment calibration trips around the world, and aims to become an IRCA certified auditor in late January.

Darren Knight joined SATRA in 1998 as a technician in the footwear testing department. After gaining experience in the testing of solings and components, he moved into the QS team, where he carried out calibration of testing equipment. Following a brief period working in a footwear supply company, Darren rejoined the QS team and now conducts quality systems audits.

Alex Hogan is the newest member of the QS team, having joined in October 2013, and has experience of personal protective equipment (PPE) testing gained while working in SATRA’s safety products centre. He has recently returned from his first series of laboratory visits in Asia, where he calibrated and assessed testing machines for developing companies.

Photograph shows SATRA’s Quality Services team – from left: Alex Hogan, David Wright,
Darren Knight, Ian Herbert and Aaron Brookes.

How can we help?

Please email for further information on laboratory accreditation and other assistance provided by SATRA’s Quality Services team.

Publishing Data

This article was originally published on page 48 of the January 2014 issue of SATRA Bulletin.

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