Small Business Lands Big Contracts Following ISO 9001 Certification
Angeles Precision Engineering was losing major contracts because they weren't ISO 9001 registered.
Mario Angeles was stuck. His family-operated machine shop, Angeles PrecisionEngineering LLC, was busy enough with work farmed out to it by larger shops, but Angeles had been repeatedly rebuffed in his attempts to secure a long-term contract on his own; especially one from the “Big Four” aerospace firms.
“We used to meet people from the four big ones—Boeing, Northrop Grumman, Lockheed Martin, and Raytheon—and ask them what we could do to earn their business,” Angelessays. “The first question they would ask is ‘Are you ISO 9001 certified?’ ” When Angeles told them he was not, he understood the uphill battle he was fighting.
“They would say, ‘If I have 100 shops I give work to and they’re all certified, why should I take work from them to give you?” he says. “ ‘What assurance can you give me that you’ll deliver higher quality work than the others?’ ” Angelesquickly discovered his word alone wasn’t worth much to the “Big Four.”
But what a difference ISO 9001 certification has made. Now registered, the Ontario, California-based machine shop is hard at work on a 37,500-part contract with the United States Navy and knocking on the Big Four’s doors with renewed determination and confidence. Armed with their ISO 9001 quality management system certificate,Angeles Precision Engineering is a whole new business.
Mario Angeles Jr. calibrates a computerized router that will shape the parts being machined by Angeles Precision Engineering LLC in Ontario, California.
“This is the difference between then and now,” Angeles says. “Now, if we try to speak with them, they listen to us.”
Angeles’ story is becoming increasingly more common throughoutAmerican industry. More and more small companies are beginning to reap the benefits of ISO 9001 implementation and certification by enlisting the help of a registered certification body like IAPMO R&T Registration Services.
“Big and small companies alike understand that ISO 9001 has evolved a great deal since its inception back in 1987,” says Shirley Dewi, senior manager of IAPMO R&TRegistration Services. “It’s very much geared toward business growth and customer satisfaction these days instead of just being singularly focused on quality control. Now it offers that aspect and so much more.”
Implementing an ISO 9001 system provides a tested and approved framework for a systematic approach to managing an organization’s processes, ensuring customer expectations are consistently met orexceeded. By illustrating strict adherence to a quality management protocol through registration, businesses communicate to their current and prospective clients a commitment to efficiency, best practices and the highest standards for work as compared to their industry peers.
David Angeles inserts tiny screws into the machine parts Angeles Precision Engineering LLC is producing for the UnitedStates Navy. |
For Angeles Precision Engineering it meant leveling the playing field and opening doors that had previously been closed. Last June, with the prospects of landing a big contract diminishing with each rejection and the economic downturn causing larger machine shops to hold onto their own work rather than farming it out to smaller shops, Angeles knew something needed to be done.
“Itold my son we have to do something different so we can get the work by ourselves, not just hope that the other guys will give it to us,” Angeles says. A friend recommended he contact an accredited certification body and obtain the ISO 9001 certificate the Big Four expected of his shop. A search of the ANSI-ASQ National Accreditation Board (ANAB) web site guided Angeles to IAPMO R&T Registration...