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7 Key benefits of AS9100 implementation

Author: Mark Hammar

Using the requirements of the AS9100 Rev D standard to implement an aerospace Quality Management System (QMS) in your organization can be one of the most important projects you perform to improve your delivery of products and services; however, this activity does not come without a cost. In the world of business, you want to ensure that you will be getting a return on your investment when you spend money, and implementing a QMS is no different.

What are the benefits to convince top management?

If you are the person trying to convince your management that implementing a QMS is a good idea, you will want to be able to show them the benefits that they will receive when the project is over, and although there is not a direct cash return, the below seven benefits will give long-term returns that will profit the company:

  1. Better customer satisfaction: The AS9100 standard requires that you focus your efforts on understanding the requirements of your customers so that you can better meet their needs. Better customer satisfaction means more repeat business, and therefore, better future sales.
  2. Improved company image: Because AS9100 is the internationally recognized standard for Quality Management Systems in aerospace companies, it has become the default expectation for customers. If your customers are expecting you to have AS9100 certification, then it will be very difficult, if not impossible, to provide your first order to a customer. If they don’t place their first order, then there is no way you can show them how good your products and services really are, and you will have lost a customer before you even get started.
  3. Better decision making: AS9100 embeds your top management into the QMS, and champions making decisions based on evidence and data rather than vague attitudes. By using data to make your decisions, you will better focus your resources on more important issues, which can lead to cost savings.
  4. Increased efficiency: AS9100 is based on the process approach to understanding how you provide your products and services, and emphasizes understanding how these processes interact. By taking this view of your whole business process, you can find and eliminate inefficiencies within your system for better delivery of your products and services.
  5. Engaging your employees: By defining and mapping the processes, and involving the people within those processes in the activity, you can not only ensure that your processes are functioning as expected, but you can engage your workforce towards the goals of process improvement and customer satisfaction. Who better to make your processes better and find ways to save both time and money?
  6. Better supplier relationships: By focusing on mutually beneficial relationships with your suppliers, you can find ways to work together in order to improve your customer satisfaction. Suppliers who work with you can help you with products better suited to your needs that are delivered sooner and cheaper. With suppliers who also benefit from your relationship, you can have long-term agreements that will save time and money overall for both you and your suppliers.
  7. Habitual improvement: One of the principles that is ingrained into the AS9100 requirements is the need to find ways to make the management system incrementally better over time, a process called continual improvement. By making improvement a part of your daily business, you can harness the power of your engaged workforce and focus them on finding ways to make the processes that they are involved in better, faster, and cheaper to run. In this way, you will find reductions in costs and time as you use your Quality Management System in years to come.

Make your QMS useful for your business

While the above benefits are commonly seen when implementing AS9100, it is important to remember that your Quality Management System will only return what you design it to deliver. The requirements of AS9100 are non-prescriptive, which means the standard tells you what needs to be implemented, but not how you must implement it. This means that you can, and should, tailor the processes required for the QMS to suit the needs and culture of your company.

So, ensure that your QMS is designed according to your needs and works for you. For instance, AS9100 requires you to have an operational risk management process, but make it a process that you will see benefits from by actually reducing your risks, rather than just trying to do what the AS9100 requirement says. The requirements of AS9100 are the industry standard for a good Quality Management System, but make sure that you will get the benefits you desire for your investment.

To find out more about implementing AS9100 in your organization, see this graphical AS9100 Rev D Implementation Diagram.

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