Prototron Receives MIL-31032 and AS9100 Certifications

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Williams: One of the mistakes most companies make, at least in the beginning, is they have a management process where they review metrics and performance in the QMS, and then they have another business meeting, which sometimes don’t exist together very well. You have done the smart thing by combining those into one meeting and viewing the metrics that are critical to the business; for example, “This is what we want to keep our finger on every month.”

O’Neil: Right. It has improved most of those metrics, and it just gives us and Dave Ryder, owner and president, a good view of where we’re at on a monthly basis. He participates in that meeting, although he’s not a member of the TRB nor part of the group that handles MIL-31032 because the owner can have a lot of influence. Dave lets us be independent and run the business how we see it, and when he has questions on the measures he sees every month, we have answers.

Williams: You said you had your 136th meeting, which I happened to sit in on this morning. If you look back to when you first started, the presentations were a lot shorter because there was less content. Now, you have way more to look at, but the meeting is shorter.

O’Neil: And that’s a byproduct of taking care of systemic problems. I’ve had this saying throughout my career, “Once you start measuring something, it automatically gets better.” We’ve done some good things with fronting conflicts where there has been a difference between the print and what we have on our photo plot sheet, for example; we’ve reduced those because we started measuring those types of things and working across various teams. We had our inside sales group sit with our operations group to solve that problem, and having the business and TRB meeting all in one is working well for us.

Williams: Another thing you have added here in the last couple of years that has paid dividends is measuring things in manufacturing and office functions to identify issues, such as something that comes out of engineering incorrectly or is the wrong revision. That has driven not only improvement in those areas but in manufacturing as well because they don’t see those issues anymore.

O’Neil: Absolutely. It’s not a good thing when you get the final and find out the revision on the print is not what you’re working there, and those incidents have decreased. They get into shipping, there are no questions, and you’re off to the races with getting good products out to your customers.

Williams: Kim, thanks for your time. It has been a pleasure.

O’Neil: Thank you, Steve.

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