Twelve Years With ISO 9001/AS9100: Reflections on Benefits, Challenges, and the Future
The ISO/AS system of Whitmor/Wirenetics plays a key role in the company's success, supporting steady growth and profitability. In this webinar, the company president shares his candid points of view on developing and living with a quality management system. He is joined by the consultant who guided the company through the ISO/AS process to provide a concise look at the methodology used to design, document, implement, maintain, and improve that system.
ISO 9001 in 1998 - AS9100 in 2003
• Whitmor/Wirenetics did not want to be pushed to certification by customers so they decided to be proactive and not wait for the inevitable.
• How they did it:
1. Recorded current processes; typically by gathering documents and constructing a flowchart.
2. Assessing the current process to the company's needs.
3. Reviewing the requirements of the ISO 9001/AS9100 standards.
4. Redesigning, documenting, and implementing the process.
• Results: the project was delivered on-time and within budget.
• Quality is a never ending responsibility.
• In a small shop, QA is a hands-on responsibility, not just pushing paper.
• There is a cost of quality but if you add value, it's worth it.
• ISO - AS is like a tree; same trunk but the trick is to hang your own leaves on it.
• An excellent opportunity to examine your processes.
• Sales have grown to $38 million; is this all attributed to ISO - AS? No, but it's part of it.
AS9100 Rev. C and beyond
• The standards continue to change and so does Whitmor/Wirenetics.
Michael Weiss is president of Whitmor/Wirenetics, headquartered in Santa Clarita, California, USA. He worked his way up through the company, holding many positions including quality and production. His experience supported the establishment of the current Quality System, guided by the idea (as stated in part in the Quality Policy): "recognizing that common sense shall prevail".
Established in 1959, Whitmor/Wirenetics is a leading provider of high-performance wire, cable, and tubing to the military, aerospace, and satellite industry for over 50 years. "We're a family-owned company," explains Weiss, president and son of founder Howard Weiss. "We've enjoyed 50 years of steady growth and we've built a sterling reputation while doing so."
Whitmor/Wirenetics started strictly as a custom cable manufacturer in North Hollywood, California. The company is a privately held corporation. In 1968, the Wirenetics side of the company was developed as a distribution arm for products not manufactured by Whitmor. In 1986, the two companies merged to form one organization to better serve the customer. "This combination is unique in that we are both a manufacturer and a distributor which allows us to present a full range of custom and off-the-shelf products in the time frame required."
Doug Anton is founder of AEM Consulting Group Inc., Ashland, Oregon, USA, which for 18 years has specialized in assisting companies to develop and implement systems and strategies for quality, process/facility design, planning and organization, and employee development. Prior career experience includes 10 years with two Black & Decker companies in key management roles: quality, production, engineering, and facilities. His B.A. degree is from California Polytechnic State University at San Luis Obispo, and he did his graduate work at Utah State University. He has published articles and has been a regular guest speaker for a variety of organizations and universities. He has developed and delivered a dozen public ISO 9001 workshops.
For further information, contact WAI Director of Education Marc Murray at (001) 203-453-2777, ext. 121, or firstname.lastname@example.org.