Considering the Source – How AS9100 is Encouraging us to Dig Deeper
“AS9100 focuses further ‘upstream’ on the processes – or how you produce. AS9100 requires documented systems for controlling the processes you use.” – Overview of the AS9100 Quality Management System
The process approach that defines ISO – regardless of the standard being pursued – has applications that can be applied to every aspect of our daily living. Beyond our businesses, themes of continual improvement can be positively impactful irrespective of where they are implemented.
But AS9100 goes even deeper. It’s not just ensuring that what you’re doing is being done correctly. It’s about ensuring that everything that leads up to your work has hit stringent and high-quality requirements. Paying attention to what goes into our work helps us ensure we are prepared to take on projects, creates accountability for those we depend on, and helps identify problem areas before they make an impact on our work.
When starting to work on any project, it’s important that we’re prepared with the tools we need to succeed. Knowledge of the materials we need to create the intended result will ensure that we have all the pieces required to complete the project. Paying attention to the quality of those pieces helps us create the highest quality result. For example – if you’re preparing to paint a room, it’s important to have quality paint, clean brushes and rollers, carefully taped lines and trim work, and effective protection for flooring and furniture. If any of those items is compromised, you could end up with paint smudged where you don’t want it.
Accurate directions are also important when preparing for a project. Having a firm understanding of the intended outcome, the current state of affairs, and the steps that need to be taken help us to move effectively and efficiently through our work. Paying careful attention to how we perform each step further ensures quality. We know that taking shortcuts on projects usually results in a do-over, so being diligent to follow directions help us achieve the desired outcome.
Take for example when you build a new piece of furniture from Ikea. If you carefully take inventory, inspect your parts, and follow along with the pictures, the end result is sturdy and reliable. If you simply open the box and guess, you could end up with a less-than-perfect, slightly rickety, and not very reliable desk (not to mention the pocket full of extra screws).
The careful inspection of parts, pieces, directions, and the current state of affairs helps create accountability from the person or service we are gathering from. Whether in information or material product, you want to be able to trust the source that is providing you with the necessary tools to complete your task.
This is already the case in so many instances in our lives. We purchase products with the expectation that they will work. We turn on appliances expecting the power to be available for their operation. We research new topics with trust that the sources we are referencing have their facts straight.
It’s important for us to evaluate and notice flaws in product or information before we fully utilize them, and to reach out to the source for correction to prevent future mistakes. Doing so will secure success for future efforts.
Identifying Potential Problems
Finally, the AS9100 standard is highly based in identifying potential problems before they make an impact. Making sure things are right before we start projects (through preparedness and accountability) help us to recognize shortcomings before they affect our work or worse, the outcome of our work. Whether in a misguided direction, a sub-part part, or a poor understanding of the work to be completed, we must be able to step back and preemptively identify where problems may occur. This knowledge allows us to make necessary adjustments, request correction, and further build our knowledge base to ensure our work results in a positive outcome.
Fully understanding what goes into the projects we tackle and being prepared to complete them with the right tools and information is paramount in the Aerospace industry, which AS9100 was designed for. But the same principles can be hugely impactful if they are carefully considered and implemented throughout our lives. Whether a new professional endeavor or a simple home project – even a task as simple as washing your car – understanding the upstream of your process and ensuring its quality before you start your work will make a big contribution to the positivity of your outcome.
For more information regarding implementation of AS9100, contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call 866.354.0300.