Quality Management Practices for Aerospace Manufacturers

Aerospace Manufacturers are Ditching Paper and Going Digital

Across all tiers of aerospace manufacturing and supply, the functionality and reliability of an organization’s QMS is an essential component to the safety and success of products. Original equipment manufacturers (OEM) require strict adherence to rigorous production standards. This sets a quality management precedence across all production, manufacturing, and supply chain lines across the aerospace production industry.

If your organization is still using a paper or spreadsheet based QMS, it’s operating at a competitive disadvantage. Whether you’re a tier one or tier four manufacturer or supplier, the trend set by  OEMs is clear: continue to show post-audit process and quality improvements in accordance with AS9100 standards.

Unlike paper or spreadsheet based quality management systems, a digital quality management system (QMS) gives your aerospace organization a customizable, scalable, and efficient way to meet AS9100 standards. Here’s a few reasons why you should consider putting a plan in place today to adopt a digital QMS.

Supply and Manufacturing Scalability

As an aerospace manufacturer and supplier, you’re always working towards creating a more efficient process. As you scale your offerings across different tiers, you’ll need a digital QMS in place that can rapidly meet AS9100. A digital QMS can be customized for your anticipated level of scalability today, and can be easily expanded to meet your growth tomorrow. A digital QMS connects your new quality management procedures with a system that can meet the challenges of new document, communication, audit, logging, and compliance processes.

Expanding with Industry Standards

AS9100 keeps expanding in compliance related size and scope. A digital QMS can also scale to meet these new changes and the considerable increase in documentation standards the changes bring with them. In 2016, AS9100 was updated to revision D (along with the merging of risk standards from ISO 9001:2015). A paper or spreadsheet based QMS simply isn’t made to readily address the documentation of new standards for human factors, ethics, and corrective actions.  
 
A digital QMS doesn’t have the boundaries or limitations of paper and spreadsheets. With a digital QMS in place, your organization can be focused on making the necessary standards changes, not worrying about how you’ll show that you’re being compliant.

Easy to Update as Standards Evolve

Homegrown quality management systems that rely on paper and spreadsheets have a difficult time keeping up with the pace at which standards evolve. And when standards do change, updating your paper or spreadsheet system to meet new production and business requirements can be too time consuming. With a digital quality management system in place, new compliance standards can be updated when they become available..

A Focus on Compliance and Risk Management

Compliance and risk management are critical focal points that define the relationship between your organization and those who purchase your products. Paper and spreadsheet based quality management systems aren’t made to handle your growing and changing risk and compliance management documentation. Each new revision of the AS9100 standards is focused on multiple levels of risk ranging from human factors to tracing counterfeit products across the supply chain. Digital quality management systems effectively connect the growing repository of risk and compliance documentation with your production and supply processes, ensuring that you’ll always have access to the necessary information.

Effective Auditing Practices and Insights

Internal audits are part of the AS9100 body of standards. Trying to conduct an appropriate audit through paper or spreadsheet software is a time consuming and error prone process. If you’re hiring an external organization to conduct your audits, the shortcomings of paper and spreadsheets may not always offer right insight into your commitment to quality process and control. The same pitfalls exist with supplier audits, too.

A digital QMS, however, allows you to streamline, and in some instances automate, all of your auditing procedures. Checklists and surveys can be digitally created and stored, making for a smooth auditing process that is consistent across all levels. Digital quality management systems also let you retrieve audit reports and associated information, giving you access to important insights that can strengthen your internal production processes.

The right configuration and deployment of a digital QMS turns the information from internal, external, and supplier audits into actionable insights that paper can’t deliver.

Deploying Your Digital QMS with General Networks

Paper and spreadsheets are no longer provide the level of functionality aerospace manufacturing and supply organizations need to manage the daunting task of being AS9100 compliant. General Networks can help your organization configure and deploy a digital QMS that:

  • Supports your internal process operations
  • Streamlines internal, external, and supplier audits
  • Scales with your offerings and relationships across multiple tiers

Download our ebook, 7 Critical Steps that Will Help You Select the Right Quality Management System to learn more about how to choose the right quality management system for your aerospace manufacturing and supply organization.

aerospace manufacturers