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With increasingly complex supply chains that span the world, it’s important that manufacturers demonstrate their commitment to quality and on-time delivery. Certification to the AS9100D standard validates our need to meet our high customer expectations and their rigorous contractual requirements. AS9100D refers to a high quality management standard that is designed for the aerospace industry. This standard strongly focuses on quality and reliability aspects of items supplied to the aerospace industry. Companies that manufacture aerospace products are also required to hold AS9100 certification. AS9100 certification has been recognized by the U.S. Government and Department of Defense as a standard to qualify a company as a reliable manufacturer.
The aerospace sector has always needed to demonstrate high levels of safety and quality, but the benefits to our company are far greater. As an AS9100D certified contract manufacturer, we have realized the following improvements:
- Better Customer Satisfaction: AS9100D is the internationally recognized standard for Quality Management Systems in aerospace companies, and it has become the default expectation for our government contracting This standard requires a focus on understanding the requirements of our customers so that we can better meet their needs. As a result, we have increased our customer satisfaction rate by giving our stakeholders and business partners the ultimate work output – improved delivery speed and reduced waste.
- Better Decision Making: AS9100D champions making decisions for our business based on evidence and data, and then using that data to focus our resources on critical opportunities for improvement. Additionally, with even greater involvement in the management system by our leadership team, this new certification ensures management is held accountable for our system’s effectiveness and that the whole organization understands their role and contributions to quality. which can lead to cost savings. Used as a business management tool, this will improve performance and drive real value in the organization, embedding healthy performance improvement processes over time.
- Engaged Employees: By defining and mapping our AS9100D processes, procedures and work instructions, we involve the team members within those processes. Not only does this ensure that our processes are functioning as expected, but this increases employee engagement. Creating a work atmosphere that’s open to feedback and idea sharing gives our employees the chance to provide feedback on current processes and then directly address those concerns themselves.
- Supplier Relationships: Our relationship with our suppliers are partnerships, and if both parties are on the same page, the partnership will be a success. At Fusion OEM, we consider our suppliers and vendors part of the team and treat them as such by communicating often and openly. Consequently, we expect the same in return. It’s not just the product that we consider – consistent lead times, insightful customer support, on-time delivery, and business stability are all critical factors to consider when evaluating which suppliers are a good fit to meet our client’s expectations. By generating data, at the start and throughout the course of the supplier relationship, we can track performance, observe patterns and develop recommendations and opportunities for improvement.
- Continuous Improvement: One of the principles that is ingrained into the AS9100 requirements is the need to find ways to make the quality management system incrementally better over time, a process called continual improvement. By making improvement a part of our daily operations, we have harnessed the power of our engaged workforce. Using risk-based thinking throughout, AS9100D promotes a proactive approach to identifying risks and taking opportunities, making continual improvement systematic. For Fusion OEM, this has led to improved reductions in both costs and time.
While the above benefits are commonly seen when implementing AS9100, it is important to remember that any Quality Management System will only return what we have designed it to deliver. The AS9100 standard places additional emphasis on structured design and validation methodologies, configuration management, and identification and traceability. At Fusion OEM, the key to getting the most out of AS9100D registration is not the certification on our wall—it’s the methods of the certification process that brings out the best in our business, our processes, and our people.