Aerospace and defense companies must adhere to the most exacting quality standards in order to ensure the safety and performance of their products. When these companies need to turn to a third-party logistics (3PL) provider, it’s imperative that the 3PL is held to similar standards. In this article, we’ll examine AS9100D certification and tell you why it’s imperative that an aerospace logistics company conforms to it.
What is AS9100D certification?
Before we get to AS9100D, let’s first revisit ISO-9001.
“ISO” is short for the International Organization for Standardization – an independent international organization that develops standards to define expertly-agreed-upon method(s) of performing a given task in order to ensure quality and consistency.
There are 21,769 standards, with quality management (ISO 9001) being the most common within the logistics industry. ISO-9001 sets requirements for a quality management system (QMS). The system documents process steps that, if followed, ensure that products and/or services meet customer expectations as well as regulatory requirements. The 8 main principles of ISO 9001 include:
- Customer focus
- Involvement of people
- Process approach
- System approach to management
- Continuous improvement
- Factual approach to decision making
- Mutually beneficial supplier relationships
The AS9100 quality management system (QMS) standards are an extension of ISO 9001 standards that are specific to the aerospace and defense industry. AS9100 builds upon ISO 9001 by adding additional requirements from the U.S. Department of Defense, NASA, and the FAA. These requirements include items related to industry-specific risk management, product configuration, design verification and validation, supplier performance, and product monitoring and measurement.
Aerospace logistics companies seek AS9100 certification to demonstrate compliance and a commitment to quality, safety, and reliability. In fact, many large companies within the aerospace and defense industry will simply not work with aerospace logistics companies that are not AS9100-certified.
Importantly, becoming certified is not a walk in the park. It typically involves months of training, followed by an audit process that is repeated at regular intervals. So, when a company is AS9100-certified, it shows that they have ‘put their money where mouth is’ by buttoning up every single operation – from filing paperwork to producing a plane engine – to conform to strict quality, safety and reliability standards.
What services does an aerospace logistics company perform?
Now that you know that an AS9100-certified logistics company adheres to rigorous quality standards, you may be wondering what types of services it applies those standards to. Some of the common 3PL services for aerospace and defense companies include the following.
Parts Procurement. A 3PL provider can allow you to free-up space in your plant by warehousing consumable parts and packaging at a nearby supplier hub. It can than perform “just in time” delivery of these materials as they are needed or on a pre-determined schedule.
Kitting. 3PLs that provide kitting solutions can consolidate parts into a kit and delivery it to a specific point in the production line. This allows assembly workers to focus on their more important production-related tasks.
Vendor Managed Inventory. Typically, your logistics partners simply store the inventory you have bought and ship them to you based on production signals. But some 3PLs can do much more, including buying parts inventory on your behalf. The way that vendor-managed inventory (VMI) works is simple: the 3PL procures the materials, stores them, manages the inventory, and invoices you only for the parts you need, when you need them.
Aerospace logistics services in North Carolina
Kanban Logistics is an AS9100D- and ISO-9001-certified logistics provider located in Eastern North Carolina. We have over 1 million square feet of warehousing space, and all of our operations adhere to these standards. We specialize in inbound logistics for manufacturing companies, including those within the aerospace and defense industry. To learn more about our capabilities, check out our video or contact us today.