Success Story Powered by Statewide New York Manufacturing Extension Partnership Member Insyte Consulting
Akron, NY based Niagara Specialty Metals, Inc (NSM) is a steel mill that specializes in the manufacture of sheets and plates of tool steel, stainless steel, cutlery steel and aerospace 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.
Prior to 2012, the company was certified to the AS 9100 standard. When none of their customers required the certification they allowed it to lapse as they had a high level of confidence that they could sustain the controls and quality discipline without the rigor of an audit that was no longer valued by their clients. However, in 2020, the company acquired a new product line that brought new customers that required certification to this standard. The situation was further challenged by the required shutdown of businesses and activities due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
NSM reached out to Insyte Consulting, part of the New York MEP and the MEP National Network™, to review their existing system / practices and identify those areas needing improvement to meet the requirements for the latest version of the AS 9100 standard. Because of COVID-19, initial reviews and discussions were conducted remotely. While this did present some challenges, the cooperation of the NSM team prevented it from growing into a major obstacle. Gaps between the latest standard and their existing system and practices was performed to systematically identify areas requiring improvement.
The NSM Management and leadership were trained on the latest AS 9100 standard requirements. Insyte worked with the NSM team to develop the required documentation, forms and structure while ramping up the workforce on the processes needed to comply. Some employees were also trained to conduct internal audits. Audit findings were addressed as the audits were done. Once internal work was completed, an outside resource was brought in to perform a mock audit to verify NSM’s readiness for certification. Gaps from the 3rd parties review were addressed and NSM went on to become successfully certified.
“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.”
- NSM was certified as compliant to the AS9100 Quality Management System standard
- NSM was able to retain clients obtained with the acquisition of new product line requiring AS9100 certification