Spirent Communications is an Eatontown, New Jersey company with 125 employees and annual sales of $50 million. Spirent was established in 1984 as Telecom Analysis Systems, Inc. and was purchased by Bowthorpe plc, a UK-based holding company, a year later. Today, Spirent Communications is a component of the Spirent Communications Group, which is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Spirent plc, an international technology company based in Crawley, UK.
A provider of testing and monitoring solutions to the telecommunications industry, Spirent’s products include network emulators, wireless channel emulators, GPS satellite emulators, automated test systems and mobile diagnostic monitors. Existing clients include Motorola, AT&T Wireless/Cingular, Nokia, Qualcomm, Verizon and Kyocera.
After many years of growth, company management decided to develop and implement a documented quality management system, in part to support continued future growth. Spirent first learned of the opportunity for assistance from NJMEP through its newsletter.
In conjunction with third-party resource Prism eSolutions, NJMEP provided Spirent with insight into how to undertake its project, ISO 9001 Certification. NJMEP also helped the company to secure a grant to assist with project costs.
Everyone in the company participated in the ISO 9001:2000 project, which ran from May 2003 until September 2004, at which time Spirent received ISO certification — an achievement the company considers “a big success.” As a result, Spirent is looking at a record year in sales, shipments and profit.
Since beginning the project, Spirent has grown considerably. Self-assessment finds that the company is more focused on its business and its customers. Its processes are much more organized, and it is now equipped with the means to address and focus on any product or process issue that it faces.
As a result of these successes and the experience overall, Spirent will consider consulting NJMEP regarding assistance on all future projects. The company currently plans to implement methods of maintaining its current system before looking into its next undertaking, ISO 14001 (Environmental Standards).
“NJMEP enabled us to obtain a grant that made ISO certification costs feasible for us,” assessed Spirent’s Quality Assurance Manager, Christopher Gilbertson. “Obtaining the certification allowed us to improve our internal processes and enhanced our competitiveness,” he continued. “About half of our sales are to customers outside the U.S., and we face increasing global competition in these markets. A key ISO philosophy is continuous improvement. This approach to business will enable us to grow and meet the increasing technological challenges in our industry.
“Our management staff has a better picture of what is going on internally, as well as what our customers think of us,” Gilbertson explained. “NJMEP was able to give us important insight to our goal of ISO 9001:2000 certification,” he summarized. “Not only did they help us out financially, but also got the project off the ground with a consultant who gave us a gap analysis before the project even began.”