Champaign precision machine shop improves quality and processes, and sees an increase in new customers after achieving dual certifications for ISO 9001:2015 and AS9100D.
The leadership team at Wagner Machine Co. has recognized the value of maintaining a robust quality management system for many years. As they were already using ISO compliant quality procedures, they desired to attain certification of their quality system to industry standards. They had previously worked with IMEC on other projects, so reaching out to them about ISO 9001:2015 certification was an obvious move. Shortly into the process, they learned of a pool of new customers they were missing out on because they lacked AS9100D certification. “We had the advanced machining capabilities they were looking for but we couldn’t even approach them without the proper certification.” reflects Kurt Wagner, CEO of Wagner Machine.
Dual certification to ISO9001 and AS9100D required about 20% more time and resources, but it was well worth it to the Wagner team. IMEC partnered with Qual Train Consulting to help the Wagner team meet their certification goal. The process began with transitioning Wagner Machine’s current Quality Management System to one that was compliant with the AS9100D Standard. After being in business for 40 years, it was a tedious, but worthwhile process to convert years of established procedures to match the new standard while steering the culture to appreciate the value of consistent processes.
IMEC assisted in training the management team at Wagner Machine to develop an understanding of the AS9100D standards and policies. Training included developing detailed procedures and work instructions that were AS9100D compliant and creating robust and efficient procedures. The team also received internal auditor training that covered how to schedule and conduct internal audits. In the final stages, IMEC helped Wagner Machine identify and select a trusted registrar.
Becoming AS9100D certified has allowed the Wagner team to increase their level of quality in both processes and products and opened the door for new opportunities. As Wagner was completing the certification process, they compiled a list of prospects who require AS9100D certification to conduct business. They planned to reach out to these companies once certified. Before they even had the chance to initiate conversations, prospective customers were already contacting Wagner Machine. Since there aren’t a lot of companies with this certification, word spreads rapidly when one is newly available for customers that require AS9100D certified suppliers. Since then, Wagner has been reaping the benefits of this new avenue for gaining customers.
On the shop floor, there is much more clarity; “our work instructions are standardized now, and we don't have three slightly different copies of a work instruction for the same process. It is clear how things are supposed to be done in the shop and if anything is out of line, we can spot it immediately.” said Kurt Wagner. Adopting the AS9100D Standard has been a challenge, but it has been well worth it. Kurt was appreciative that the employees didn’t react unfavorably due to the misconception that becoming ISO or AS9100 certified meant changing all processes, adding extra steps, or requiring more time. He noted, “The initial goal was to make sure we were meeting the basics of the standard. That required some changes, but we tried to keep them to a minimum because we had an established system that was working. Over time, we have found more opportunities to improve our processes and even reduce redundant work, so we are constantly making minor adjustments based on information we collect.
Going forward, Wagner will continue to focus on maintaining a high level of quality that follows the AS9100D Standard and will conduct regular internal audits to ensure they provide consistent and reliable quality for all their customers – not just those that require certification.
- 8 New or retained employees
- $490,000 Anticipated retained sales
- $175,000 New investment in new product/process
- $470,000 New investment in plant or equipment
- $65,000 New investment in information systems
- $18,000 New investment in employee skills
- Improved on-time delivery
Ready to get started on your own quality standard certifications, contact IMEC.