Chris Quarles joined Quest Renewables’ procurement team as the Director of Purchasing in November of 2021. Anyone who knows Chris will recognize his passion for his work and family, love for music and art, and appreciation for living with respect for the environment. He was raised in rural Georgia and is a father of five children. In this Employee Spotlight, Chris shares about himself and offers his take on how our Quality Management System gives Quest Renewables industry-leading control over the customer experience.
Tell us about yourself?
I grew up in rural Georgia with my mom, sister and my mom’s parents. I greatly admired my grandpa, who had done a little of everything in his life. Watching his good character and strong principles, his equanimity and faith in the face of blindness later in life, and his love for his family was formative for me and led me to understand the kind of person I want to be. I am a father of five children under twelve, and I am daily growing in love and partnership with my wife of 13 years, Jamie. With a love for music and crafting that I learned as a child, I find a lot of value and growth in the pursuit of music performance as well as in wood, leather, and metal crafting.
My ideal world would involve raising my family in a creative environment on our self-sufficient homestead with enough fruit of our labors left over to regularly host friends and relations in our little sanctuary away from the world’s stresses.
How did you get interested in the solar industry?
I’ve always felt very strongly about our collective stewardship over the natural world and I was drawn to a means of reducing the negative impact energy production has on our environment. I even worked on a research project in grade school involving alternative fuel sources for cars. Having become friends with Quest Renewables’ Design Director James Keane while performing music together, I was made aware of the work Quest Renewables is doing and wanted to be a part of Quest’s innovative and motivated team.
What is your role at Quest Renewables?
I am the Director of Purchasing at Quest, which is an elevated way to say that when we need materials, I run out and fetch them. I work hard to control our costs and maintain the quality of our materials so we can offer a top tier product at a reasonable cost. All this is to make solar solutions more attractive and easier to execute.
How do you view the importance of a Quality Management System?
Procurement and QMS work hand-in-glove to achieve the highest level of quality control over raw materials and finished goods. It would not be an exaggeration to claim that efficient procurement is impossible without the granular scrutiny and precise recording afforded by the QMS.
How does the QMS affect how you view your role at Quest Renewables?
The QMS impact on Procurement is both broad and deep. It affords the team processes to maintain a granular level of scrutiny and extremely precise recording, to ensure all manufacturing and supply aspects run smoothly.
The QMS has the highest impact on procurement, quite literally embodying the purpose of the role that I filled at Quest Renewables. Having the updated QMS in place impacts how we refine the procurement process, and how we manage procedural and material efficiency during the fabrication process. It affects time management and material management, which then allows for a better customer experience. It also allows for a better vendor experience, because vendors are our customers as well in a way.
What do you think are the biggest strengths of the Quality Management System?
The temptation is to only view procurement in terms of cost of goods and the logistical movement of material. The QMS allows for greater visibility and management of the fundamental value of our solar solutions. It comes down to: how does our process and final product impact the customer and our vendors?
QMS increases our control over fabrication, shipping, packing, and storing material. Our QMS communications with our vendors result in better end products, more efficient issue resolution, and better management of risk.
What is your favorite part of working with Quest Renewables?
I really enjoy our collaborative approach: we rise to meet challenges as a united front and support each other in our daily tasks and those times when it gets hectic.
Where is your favorite place to travel?
My family and I spend a lot of our spare time making day trips to the various North Georgia parks. We love running through Helen or Dahlonega to pick up picnic supplies then lunching out at Amicalola Falls or Brasstown Bald before hiking together.
If you could learn anything right now, what would it be?
That’s a tough one… it might be said that I have too many interests to settle down and perfect any one of them. I guess I would say metal engraving since I just acquired some engraving chisels and because I would like to embellish the blacksmith work I’ve been crafting.