New Mexico One Call attains ISO certification

May 2011, Vol. 66 No. 5

New Mexico One Call Inc. (NMOC), the statewide “Call Before You Dig” organization, has become the first 8-1-1 call center in the United States to receive ISO (International Organization for Standardization) 9001:2008 certification for quality management.

“This process has been a long, arduous endeavor, but very worthwhile in terms of ensuring we achieve our mission of providing notice of planned excavations to underground facility owners to protect lives, property and help them maintain critical water, power and communications infrastructure in our state with the highest level of quality and efficiency,” said Paula McAfee, president of the NMOC Board of Directors.

NMOC’s ISO 9001:2008 quality management certification indicates the organization consistently provides services that meet the needs of its members and customers as well as comply with applicable statutory and regulatory requirements. The certification also recognizes that NMOC aims to enhance member and customer satisfaction through applying processes for continual improvement of its systems.

Gary Sloman, NMOC executive director, explained, “NMOC achieved a 98 percent customer satisfaction rating in our 2010 customer survey, the highest satisfaction rating in our history. The processes we have put in place in our pursuit of the ISO 9001:2008 certification are certainly working.”

Established in 1990, NMOC offers a toll-free number (811) for dig notification, and provides free safety seminars to train excavators on digging safely. State law requires citizens to call before they dig – the service is free. NMOC handles calls from contractors or homeowners who are about to begin excavation projects. In turn, NMOC notifies underground facility owners that they need to mark any underground wires, cables or pipes within two working days, before any excavation begins.

NMOC currently has 20 employees and serves 430 members who own and operate more than 120,000 miles of underground water, wastewater and gas pipelines as well as electrical and telecommunication cables. The organization handles nearly 200,000 requests for line locates each year.