AS 9100C Quality Certification Helps Pauway Enter New Markets

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Background: Paint & Wood Finishing Specialists Who Put Customers First

For over 35 years, Pauway Corporation has provided industrial painting, powder coating, and screen printing services to diverse industries including aerospace, electronics, high-end stereo, medical, military, and OEM. Operating out of their 45,000 sq. ft. plant with 23 employees, Pauway has in recent years expanded into the wood finishing industry. An ISO 9001:2008 and now also AS 9100C certified company, Pauway prides themselves on maintaining the highest standards and guarantees customer satisfaction.

Situation: New Market Entry Challenges

A wide array of factors can lead to non-conformance issues when obtaining certifications and registrations. Having a partner to ensure complete success and satisfaction was paramount to Pauway. Vice President Mark Rydzy saw an opportunity to enter the Aerospace market. Having recently lost three of his largest customers to overseas competitors, Mark knew it was time to expand.

“Entering a new market and succeeding in it are two totally different things. You can’t just say we serve this market and that market now and expect the business to pour in,” explains Mark. “I wanted to get into the aerospace and defense markets because they are tightly regulated industries as far as using domestic suppliers. With Connecticut being the hub of the aerospace industry, it made perfect sense for us to move in that direction.” Pauway was experienced with class 1A finishes, complex coating systems and multicolor finishing for a variety of substrates from the tops of screws to 2-ton I-beams. Pauway had the capability and capacity to enter these new markets. The first step was to secure the requisite credentials: AS 9100C certification.

Solution: AS 9100C Revision Opens Doors

The aerospace standard of AS 9100 incorporates sector-specific supplier requirements. “Our initial quality management system only contained the ISO 9001 registration and that wasn’t enough,” Mark explains. “There are some businesses that won’t even look at you unless you have AS 9100 as a minimum requirement.” CONNSTEP was integral to Pauway’s success in transitioning from AS 9100B to AS 9100C registration.

After a thorough review of Pauway’s internal processes, CONNSTEP developed a training matrix to illustrate gaps in skill deployment. “Not only did it help us allocate internal resources properly, but it showed us where some cross-training was needed,” observes Mark. “As we began to cross-train our staff, a formal sign-off process was implemented. It provided a level of accountability to the staff which has led to an increased pride in their workmanship.”

The training matrix was the first step to helping Pauway prepare to receive their AS 9100C revision. Installing a quality management system and maintaining registration takes effort, precise documentation, and a commitment to workflow and processes to ensure timely delivery of customer-specified quality goods. Pauway President Wayne Rydzy explains “When the CONNSTEP team came in to help us prepare for the registration, they understood the whole picture. They understood what the end result of this system was supposed to be. It was going to help our efficiency, minimize risk, and help with employee safety, now and in the future.”

Pauway was one of the first organizations to be registered to the ‘C’ revision of the AS 9100 standard – a direct reflection of CONNSTEP’s commitment to the company’s needs. The processes and culture are now in place for Pauway to continue moving forward. They are now equipped to register with NADCAP, or any other sector-specific registration. Their quality engagement with CONNSTEP resulted in $100,000 in increased sales, $250,000 in retained sales, the expected addition of six new employees, and an additional $50,000 investment in new plant equipment. It also paved the way for a company-wide shift in strategic planning – from reactive to proactive.

Results:

  • Achieved AS 9100 “C” revision
  • $100K in increased sales
  • $250K in retained sales
  • Six jobs created
  • $50K investment in new plant equipment

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