ISO Certification Leads to Lean Improvements
Privateer, Ltd. was founded in 1972 with a primary focus on manufacturing Identification Marking products for the aerospace industry. By embracing growing trends and technology, the company grew steadily over the next few decades and subsequently acquired three additional businesses that would become Label One in 2006. Privateer/Label One has an international presence and is located in Old Saybrook, Connecticut.
Capitalizing on over 60 years of combined experience, Privateer/Label One utilizes the latest technology to produce tapes and labels to meet their diversified customer requirements. The Privateer division of their business is one of only a handful of companies approved to supply the aerospace industry with extreme performance rated tapes for fluid lines in aircraft. Companies such as Boeing, United Technologies, Eaton Aerospace, Bombardier, and Gulfstream as well as NASA have placed their trust in Privateer.
Label One specializes in custom printing for industries such as health and beauty, beverage, pharma, and tool manufacturing. They have also partnered with some well-known national brands located in the state including Stanley Tools, Craftsman, and BIC. They also work with beloved local businesses like Avery Soda and Mountain Dairy as well as numerous vineyards, breweries, and Katherine Hepburn’s Cultural Center for the arts.
Privateer/Label One recognizes its responsibility as a manufacturer and supplier of pressure sensitive tapes, labels, and tags. Working closely with customers whose reputation and revenues rely on timely performance and zero-defect tolerances, it soon became evident they needed to step up their game in their quality management system (QMS).
The company has always had processes in place to ensure quality measures and customer satisfaction. While customers needed complete confidence in their abilities, many of their aerospace customers ultimately required Privateer/Label One to become ISO certified. As a result, the company leadership met with CONNSTEP to discuss the necessary steps to achieve ISO 9001 certification, as it provides added assurance that they are operating to verifiable standards.
CONNSTEP discussed with Privateer/Label One their need to become ISO 9001 compliant and set about to assist them in the development of their QMS in preparation for a certification audit to the ISO 9001:2015 standard. This certification would also be a big competitive differentiator, with the company indicating that compliance to the standard would allow them to successfully pursue and expand their client base and grow sales in the aerospace category.
Training, facilitation, and mentoring by CONNSTEP was provided to Privateer/Label One leadership and other key staff to ensure their understanding of the requirements of ISO 9001:2015 as well as their roles, responsibilities and expectations. Documentation was also covered with guidance and assistance provided in preparation for a certification audit.
Privateer/Label One conducted their first audit in the fall of 2017 and were certified in January 2018.
Working with CONNSTEP, Privateer/Label One developed and documented a quality management system. The QMS complies with the requirements of the ISO 9001:2015 standard meaning the quality methods have been tested and approved which has increased the value of the company while enabling it to maintain its customer base and attract new ones.
It has also helped Privateer/Label One become more Lean with processes put in place that identified gaps, with more efficiencies, saving money and reducing costs. The company redesigned flow, established stations for job costing, improved lead times and inventory control, and eliminated waste.
Corru-Seals recognized to fully realize the benefits inherent in the new quality standard would require a paradigm shift in the organization.