Fancort Industries is a manufacturer and integrator of production solutions for electronics manufacturers. The company’s strength lies in precision tool design and construction. Founded in 1972, the company and has 15 employees and sells through a network of independent sales reps and distributors around the world.
Fancort Industries needed to become ISO 9100 certified to simplify its customers buying process, retain its client base and expand its markets. The ISO credential is not only recognized worldwide but in many industries it is a requirement. The ISO Certification would eliminate its customers from having to get a SLAR (Supplier Limited Access Request) to make up for Fancort’s ISO non-certification.
As more and more companies require certification Fancort would be at risk of losing 50% of current sales to customers such as Boeing, Lockheed Martin, and NASA. Fancort also believed being ISO certified could increase sales over the 12-18 months after receiving certification.
Fancort Industries and New Jersey Manufacturing Extension Program, Inc. (NJMEP) worked together to implement the ISO Quality Standards and train its people in them. The New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development (NJDOL) provides funding to help companies improve workers skills. Fancort and NJMEP applied for and received this funding. Without the funding Fancort would not have been able to implement the quality standards. The grant greatly reduced the cost of implementing the standards for Fancort.
The majority of the company’s employees are “front-line” workers—those directly involved with the production of goods and/or services for its customers. ISO is based on having documented consistent, good practices that assure quality, which results in a high level of customer satisfaction. The primary beneficiaries of ISO training would for Fancort’s defense and aerospace customers.
A training program was set up. In 15 months, nine courses in ISO quality systems were delivered to the company’s 15 employees. The courses covered everything from a Management Overview of ISO, Quality Manual Development, Procedure Development to Internal Auditor Training.
The Internal Auditor Training provided Fancort with the skills to examine and evaluate its processes on an ongoing basis thus assuring the company would be compliant with ISO standards. The internal audit is an excellent tool for maintaining a culture of continuous improvement, which was important to Fancort.
When surveyed for NIST, on the training, Fancort Industries reported:
- An increase of $75,000 in sales
- Retained $50,000 in sales that would have been lost
- Realized a substantial cost saving in workforce practices as a result of the NJDOL funding
Robert G. Antonelli, who is in sales at Fancort, pointed out, “Although the company has only recently become certified they have seen changes in the day to day operations.”
- Communications between workers have greatly improved.
- There is a library of forms that are easily accessible assuring quality standards are maintained and information on the standards is communicated to its customers.
- The sales process has been simplified.
- Being certified reduces 20-30% of the supplier certification forms Fancort was required to submit on a yearly basis.
- Customers and potential customers easily understand Fancort’s level of competency.
- After announcing Fancort’s certification the company received many positive comments from customers.
Fancort Industries’ CEO, Ronald Corey, explained how the training impacted his organization. “As a result of the training, we have developed a stronger culture, better communication, improvements in quality and more attention to detail. The certification will expand the number and types of companies we will be able to do business with, raising our organization to a higher standard. NJMEP has been very helpful with this process and we will continue to utilize their expertise.”
This success story was featured in the May 2013 edition of Manufacturing Matters, NJMEP’s Quarterly Newsletter. Click here to view the newsletter.