The benefits of certifying the Monessen facility have carried over to the entire company. “We have applied a lot of the things that we learned during the certification process to how we do business everywhere,” says Director of Marketing Communications Marcy Offner.

For example, the receiving process utilized in Monessen, which includes a three-way match of purchase orders, packing slips and product labels to prevent errors, is now used in all distribution centers. Composites One also uses the work management and automation platform first implemented at Monessen at 14 other large distribution centers and the corporate office. Hairhoger says the database allows the company to monitor trends, then use them to eliminate waste and serve customers more efficiently.

Composites One plans to certify four other distribution centers in July and will migrate two facilities to the new ISO 9001:2015 standard, along with AS9120B:2016 – the Monessen facility and BMB Solutions Composites in Montreal.

Ironically, the customer that first led the company to ISO certification is no longer in business. “How about that?” Hairhoger laughs. “But that’s OK, because it put us on a path to where we are today and where we want to be in the future.”

Company: Composite Resources Inc.

Headquarters: Rock Hill, S.C.

Focus: Supplies components and tooling, primarily for aerospace and defense

Employees: 35

As a manufacturer for the aerospace and defense industries, Composite Resources was already a process-oriented company with high levels of documentation before it sought ISO 9001 certification in 2010. Having well-established quality systems, a quality inspector and advanced inspection equipment, including a FARO® 3D measurement arm and a coordinate measuring machine, meant that most practices were already aligned with the standard.

“I think for some organizations, it’s really a big leap to go from what they’re doing to becoming ISO certified,” says Morgan Brady, COO of Composite Resources. “However, in our case, it wasn’t a big step because we were already doing 90 percent of the required processes and documentation.”

Quality systems evolved organically at Composite Resources as the company grew, but the push for certification stemmed from a common industry refrain – a customer request. Brady recalls an aerospace customer saying, “Your product is fantastic and your quality records are off the charts, but for us to do business and certify this product, it needs to come with an ISO certification.”

The certification process for its 55,000-square-foot facility took six months, with preparations focused on formalizing existing practices or adapting them slightly to conform to ISO standards.  Composite Resources’ software systems were key to standardization. MQ1 quality management software allows the company to manage documents, including tooling and job notations, standard operating procedures and safety data sheets for materials. The company’s JobBOSS shop management software helps simplify the compliance process by managing purchase orders, sales orders, internal part numbers and descriptions It also has a labor/data collection feature that allows the company to track the time for each step of a process and measure efficiency.