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How much does AS9100 Rev D implementation cost?

How much is this going to cost? This is one of the first questions that will be asked of you when you suggest using the requirements of AS9100 Rev D to implement an aerospace Quality Management System (QMS) for your company. It is no surprise that top management is most concerned about money, and even if they understand the benefits of implementing the QMS, they will still want to know the estimated total cost of AS9100 implementation. While this will be different for each company, there are a number of things to consider when developing your implementation budget.

For more on the benefits of implementing AS9100 Rev D, see this article: 7 Key benefits of AS9100 implementation.

What influences the cost of AS9100 Rev D implementation?

While it is true that each QMS implementation needs to be tailored to the organization that is creating the management system, there are five main elements that will affect the cost of implementing AS9100 Rev D, and by understanding these costs you will be better able to estimate the overall cost before beginning your tasks.

1) Cost of acquiring knowledge – Buying the standard is the first step in acquiring the knowledge you need to implement AS9100 Rev D, and it is also the least expensive. More costly than the standard will be the training needed for the implementation team to better understand the requirements of the standard, and how these requirements are to be interpreted for your organization. Even if you choose to only send one or two people to an external training course to learn more about AS9100 Rev D and how to implement or audit the standard, you will still need to train others internally, which will cost employee time to organize and participate.

2) Technology to meet the standard – While not strictly necessary, it is often easier to perform many of the processes that are required by the AS9100 Rev D standard with a ready-made software program. These programs, should you choose to use them, can help to control your documents, records, management review activities, corrective actions, internal audits, and many other facets of your QMS that you will need to maintain. Depending on your needs, these software programs can vary widely in price, so if you choose to use one, make sure it will work for your organization.

3) External assistance – The first thing to come to mind is hiring a consultant, which many companies do. The right consultant can help speed up your implementation by guiding you along the right path, but remember that there are some drawbacks as well, such as cost and sharing of information. For some help in deciding how to choose a consultant, see this article: AS9100 consultant: How to choose the right one. You could also gain some help from an AS9100 Rev D documentation toolkit, which can assist you in formatting your documentation in a standard way so that it is easier to use. This can also help to ensure that nothing is missed during your QMS implementation.

4) Cost of employee time – No matter what other assistance you have, there will need to be time taken by your employees to develop the management system. Processes will need to be defined and some of them will need to be documented. Even if you already have some documentation, this will still need to be reviewed against the AS9100 Rev D requirements to identify any changes. People will need to be trained on any process changes that may take place, as well as training to bring awareness of the AS9100 Rev D standard, and why you are using it. They will also need to take time to audit the processes of the QMS, and top management will need to perform management review. Implementation takes time, and people need to have the time to make the implementation happen.

5) Certification and surveillance audits – The last step in implementation is to have a certification body come and audit your QMS to certify that it meets the requirements of the AS9100 Rev D standard. These certification contracts are valid for three years, with a certification audit to start and then surveillance audits over the next two years until it is time to re-certify at the three-year anniversary of the first certification. As with any contract, there is a cost associated with certification, and this cost will differ between certification bodies. Make sure you find out exactly what is included so that you get the best value. For some help determining which certification body is right for you, see this 9001Academy resource: List of questions to ask an ISO 9001 certification body.

AS9100 Rev D implementation cost: How to estimate it?

To be able to assess how these costs will affect your organization, you will need to look at the whole implementation process so that you have a good idea of all that needs to be done. To help you understand AS9100 Rev D implementation, see this article: 13 Implementation steps for AS9100 Rev D.

The key to success is a good estimate

As with any project in business, the accuracy of your estimate is a critical key to the overall success of the project. If you budget too much time and resources, then the AS9100 Rev D implementation may not be approved to begin with. On the other hand, if you budget too little, then you run the risk of failing halfway through when there is not enough time or money to do what needs to be done to finish the project. Take some time at the beginning to set yourself a firm foundation for the expectations of what will be needed for implementation, and you will find that it will be easier to justify what needs to happen along the way. Remember, the overall goal is to have a QMS that works for your organization, so budget what is necessary to gain the benefits you want in the end.

To see more details about the items that need to be planned during the implementation, download this free template for a Project plan for AS9100 Rev D implementation.

Advisera Mark Hammar
Mark Hammar
Mark Hammar is a Certified Manager of Quality / Organizational Excellence through the American Society for Quality, and has been a Quality Professional since 1994. Mark has experience in auditing, improving processes, and writing procedures for Quality, Environmental, and Occupational Health & Safety Management Systems, and is certified as a Lead Auditor for ISO 9001, AS9100, and ISO 14001.