In many circumstances, quality is subjective. A restaurant, for example, may have quality food. A shirt might be made of quality fabric. Two people may disagree over the quality of that same food or shirt. But in the aerospace industry, quality has a different name and a different meaning, because when it comes to parts, tools, components, and items used in our industry, there’s no room for subjectivity.
Here, quality’s name is AS9100.
AS9100 is the international quality management system (QMS) standard for the aviation and aerospace industry. This system provides suppliers a consistent, reliable framework to ensure the production of safe, dependable products.
Discerning companies rarely do business with any supplier that isn’t AS9100-certified, and for good reason: it’s a symbol of quality that isn’t susceptible to opinion. What’s more, giants in the industry like NASA, Boeing, and the U.S. Department of Defense require their suppliers to bear the AS9100 certification.
On the surface, AS9100 looks a lot like ISO 9001:
In addition, AS9100 takes into account a few unique considerations specific to aerospace. There’s extra emphasis on risk assessment and management, along with unique steps for product design verification, validation, testing, and documentation. There’s also enhanced product monitoring requirements to protect against counterfeit parts, faulty products, and human error.
Once AS9100 certification is achieved, companies must recertify every three years to maintain their status.
Achieving any type of quality management certification isn’t a feat to be taken lightly. It requires organizational buy-in from all corners and a commitment to continuously adhere to those standards in every product.
Make no mistake that seeing the AS9100 stamp of approval is of the utmost importance in the aerospace industry. But the meaning (and benefits) to the buyer go much deeper than this.
Any organization that maintains and demonstrates a quality management system like AS9100 typically meets buyer expectations better than organizations that have not invested in QMS. This is large because QMS goals and objectives cater to the buyer’s needs and solicit feedback from buyers as part of their continuous improvement. As a result, organizations are more driven to adapt their products and strategies to better serve customers, as well as develop organizational goals around those of the customer.
For buyers, this is a testament to making decisions that are in the best interest of your company.
At etaGlobal, AS9100’s deeper meaning is where we shine brightest. We realize that our AS9100 is something of an expectation, which is why we’ve made ourselves known for our continuous commitment to quality (in its most non-subjective form).
It’s not hard to see the benefits of AS9100, especially since companies only get out of it what they put into it. Each time a buyer chooses an AS9100-certified company, they’re sending a clear message that nothing less should be acceptable.
For more insights, head back to the etaGlobal blog.