(Cologne, N.J.) – Absecon Mills, a family-owned company that manufactures fabric for the public seating industry and technical textiles for the ballistic and composite industries, countered foreign competition by achieving ISO certification. As a result, the organization realized:
- $2.2 million in increased sales
- 14 new employees
- $588,000 invested in new products and processes
- $200,000 in cost savings
Earlier, the opening of trade barriers and the dropping of tariffs and duties with China negatively impacted Absecon’s business. The company’s strategy to combat foreign competition was to expand into the U.S. military markets. However, virtually all of the customers Absecon wanted to target were ISO certified and required ISO certification of their primary and subcontractors. To compete in this market, Absecon Mills would need to achieve ISO 9001 certification.
Absecon Mills connected with the New Jersey Manufacturing Extension Program, Inc. (NJMEP), a not-for-profit that helps manufacturers become more profitable by increasing sales, reducing costs, improving efficiencies, and spurring job creation. NJMEP and its resource partner worked closely with Absecon to create a plan for implementing ISO 9100 and achieving registration. Assisted by NJMEP, Absecon applied for a New Jersey Department of Labor Skills4Jersey Training Grant to help offset some of the training costs.
Employees were trained in the skills and processes necessary to achieve ISO certification, key components of which are documentation to provide the definition and structure for the management system and implementing a document control system. The organization is now an ISO 9100 registered company and able to conduct business with companies in the military arena.
“Absecon Mills is like the Phoenix. In 2011 we sustained a devastating fire. Since then, with the help of NJMEP and our dedicated employees, we have come back… investing in the business and expanding our markets to position the company for continued growth,” said David Adair, Executive Vice President of Absecon Mills.