Niagara Specialty Metals (NSM) is a manufacturer of tool steels, high speed steels, martensitic stainless steels and controlled expansion alloys. They also provide conversion processing for titanium, temperature and corrosion resistant metals, electronic alloys and other difficult to manufacture metals. In business since 1982, NSM is an ESOP Company, 100% employee owned, with 39 employees.
NSM was previously certified to the AS9100 standard but allowed their certification to lapse in 2012 when none of their customers required it. Management had a high level of confidence they could maintain the controls and discipline the quality system required without the need for a third party certification audit. The acquisition of a new product line in early 2020 brought new customers that required certification to this standard. Complicating matters was the required shutdown of businesses and activities due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
NSM contracted with Insyte Consulting to review the existing system and identify areas needing improvement to meet the requirements for the latest version of the AS9100 standard.
“The consultant was able to thoroughly understand our process to ensure a successful implementation of AS9100. It would have been much more difficult without Insyte’s support. The AS9100 certification will help us grow our business significantly.” – Bob Shabala, President
Initial reviews and discussions were conducted remotely due to the pandemic work environment. This did present some challenges, but the cooperation of the NSM team prevented this from growing into a major obstacle. A gap analysis of the existing system was performed to systematically identify areas requiring improvement. Management and leadership were trained on the AS9100 standard requirements; needed documentation, forms and structure were developed; and the workforce was trained. Selected employees were trained to conduct internal audits. Audit findings were addressed as the audits progressed. Finally, an outside resource was brought in to perform a mock audit to verify NSM’s readiness for certification. The findings from the mock audit were addressed and NSM was successfully certified.
– Certified to the AS9100 standard with no major findings.
– Sales increased by $250,000 as a result of certification.