Several years ago at a large supplier conference for one of the major aerospace companies, I was asked to participate on a panel discussion about having the Aerospace quality standard AS9100 and taking a company through a “Lean Journey”. There were five supplier companies participating.
After purchasing and Aerospace manufacturing company in the late 90's I learned quickly that quality was a given. High quality standards were a must. My problem at the time was that quality was pretty good, not yet the best, but delivery and cost/price were really bad. We could not produce on-time and at market pricing we did not make much above break even at the bottom line. We worked for several years to get delivery and cost control.
About ten years ago we were introduced to “Lean Manufacturing”. Life in manufacturing began to shift and shift well. We were maintaining quality standards and began knocking off low hanging fruit in waste around the plant. As we studied “Lean Principles” it became obvious as you grow in quality, AS9100, and apply “Lean” they absolutely go hand in hand. Our plant really excelled at having high quality product, on-time delivery and a better bottom line was shaping up.
However, back at the conference I had a question from the audience. A person who had been close to our company and had visited us in the early days asked: “Mr. Fry there was a time years ago that you said there were only two possible outcomes of Quality, Delivery and price. A buyer could have only two, not all three. What do you say now? “. Well there was a hush in the room. All eyes and ears turned toward me. It certainly was not a trick question but actually I had not thought about the concept for many years.
I answered that with current high quality standards coupled with “Lean” it was possible to have great quality, on-time delivery and cost/price control — which means to all you in this room cost reduction. That brought laughter and applause from the crowd.
So, as we grow our current company Polytronix Machining & Fabrication we are approved at current AS9100c and are beginning the process of the new AS9100 2017 series of changes for the next generation of quality — AND — We are going full bore in “Lean Manufacturing”.
I am very interested in collaborating and discussing this further. Let me know your thoughts.
Make 2017 your best year yet!