Background: (Falstrom Company)
Established in 1870, Falstrom Company is an industry leader serving the Aerospace and Defense industry with custom, battle proven, rugged enclosures and electronic assemblies for avionics, mission critical shipboard systems and platforms. Recognized by their clients for quality and performance they are a preferred supplier for the US military including the Navy and Coast Guard. Falstrom Company operates out of their Passaic, NJ location; a 90,000 sq ft facility employing approximately 117 employees.
Falstrom Company was looking to upgrade their ISO 9001:2008 certification to ISO 9001: 2015, in order to improve internal operations, further bolster its reputation for quality products, and increase their customer base. Without this registration, Falstrom would not have been able to accept orders from existing customers. Additionally, compliance with the ISO standard was needed so Falstrom would have the ability to reach potential clients that require this international standard.
Falstrom Management turned to NJMEP due to their long-standing successful relationship, to upgrade, develop and implement all quality systems and procedural documentation necessary to meet the requirements of ISO 9001:2015 Quality Management System Standards.
NJMEP conducted a business assessment and presented them with a structured approach to attaining ISO 9001: 2015 Certification and introduced a continuous improvement methodology. It was determined that additional funding was a necessity and NJMEP helped them apply for a Training Grant, which subsequently was approved.
Over the course of the year, Falstrom was guided through the documentation required for the ISO Certification.
NJMEP’s process included:
- Reviewing and modifying all processes; and making sure they met requirements of ISO standards
- Weekly meetings with the Quality Management Systems team
- Training in practical problem solving and auditing techniques to reduce costs, improve performance and ensure continued compliance with the ISO standard
- ISO 9001:2015 quality management system development and implementation
The NJMEP team oversaw the creation of Falstrom’s new quality manual. ISO quality standards dictate that a company demonstrates the effective performance of its management review process, which meant an in-depth auditing of Falstrom’s operations. NJMEP met with Falstrom’s management team regularly to review the findings of the audits and implement corrective actions.
In total, the process for achieving ISO 9001: 2015 certification lasted approximately 12 months, with the first 6-7 months dedicated to reviewing the processes, designing and implementing Falstrom’s ISO system, and the last 5-6 months used to actually run and then audit the newly installed system prior to the final registration audit.
Falstrom Company was awarded its ISO 9001:2015 Certification. This process helped the company to identify areas where they excelled as well as areas of improvement. They were able to develop internal audits, create a calibration system, post performance measures, develop and post QMS documents, and implement ISO training. Overall, the training Falstrom received enabled them to better compete with companies in lower costs states.
Falstrom Company benefited greatly from NJMEP’s help in many ways:
- Increased sales Amount: $500,000
- Retained Sales Amount: $4,000,000
- Cost Savings Amount: $250,000
- Employees Created: 12
- Employees Retained: 52
- Workforce practices Amount: $50,000
- Plant Equipment Savings Amount: $125,000
- Information Systems Savings Amount: $25,000
“We would definitely recommend NJMEP to anyone looking into an ISO certification. NJMEP has helped us over the years to improve several aspects of our company. Becoming ISO 9001: 2015 Certified was something we really needed to do, and the funding, guidance, and encouragement provided gave us the ability to obtain the certification.” Clifford Lindholm, President and CEO, Falstrom Company.