Growth Manufacturers Case Study
Simple and Effective ISO Implementation Provides Growth
"The ISO Certification process that MassMEP helped us with was logical, simple to implement, and sustainable." Scott Ferrecchia, President
With over four decades of experience in the precision machining industry, Lincoln Tool continues to maintain and improve its tradition of excellence in machined components and assemblies. Established in 1980 by James Ferrecchia, and now with son Scott at the helm, Lincoln Tool continues to be family-owned and operated, servicing customers from the New England area to the global marketplace.
Our highly skilled machinists follow each project from design through completion. By working closely with our technical support and quality control staff, we are able to develop creative solutions to seemingly impossible machining tasks. The latest in computerized technology and equipment and highly skilled staff assures our customers the highest quality product in a timely fashion.
Lincoln Tool services industries ranging from renewable energy, medical device, robotics, and defense. Dedication to quality, combined with proven experience in innovative precision custom machinery, guarantees the right solutions to our customers' machining/assembly needs, from the start of the job through final delivery.
Lincoln Tool was unable to participate in Aerospace and Defense business opportunities without being AS-9100 certified. This was a struggle for a second-generation company that needed to grow and continue the family tradition of excellence and growth for future generations.
After several incidents of not being able to bid on business opportunities, they knew they had to become AS-9100/ISO9001:2008 certified if they wanted to expand their market reach.
At a Tech Sandbox incubator event, Scott Ferrecchia, President of Lincoln Tool, met with Tom Andrellos, Business Growth Advisor for MassMEP. During their conversation, Scott learned that MassMEP provided ISO training for their clients so that they could become ISO certified. Since the company worked with aerospace companies, they qualified for training through a grant provided to MassMEP by MassDevelopment.
During the training period, Lincoln Tool found the process to be simple, structured, and provided the tools necessary for the staff at Lincoln Tool to undertake the internal improvement changes.
Lincoln Tool had been working with another consultant and felt they were more confused after 18 months than when they started. In comparison, the MassMEP process made sense, met all the requirements and made it possible to implement within their company. MassMEP was able to develop a quality improvement plan that went from 10 very complicated pages to 2 pages of processes that they could easily implement and understand.
Prior to the certification audit, they had heard horror stories about how difficult the certification registration was for first time companies. Lincoln Tool was pleased when their audit resulted in only a couple minor findings; they knew that it is common to have a few major findings and, sometimes, even double digit minor findings for a first time company. They attributed this to the simple and clear process that MassMEP developed with them for their quality standards.
The culture within the organization has changed as well. Because of the simple quality documents, the accountability processes, corrective actions, and management reviews are conducted on a regular basis, allowing management to follow the product flow.
As a forward thinking company and in anticipation of the additional business that they will be able to receive, they have purchased new equipment to handle the workload. It also allows them to stay up to date with the latest capabilities and thus meet the needs of their customer.
Because they are located so close to a few of their larger clients, they have developed an open door policy with the engineers who will stop by with an idea or concept and say, "Can you prototype this for me?" These drop-bys lead to a relationship with the engineers that provides an opportunity to build further growth and sales. On any given day, they can have 2-8 engineers coming by to collaborate on future work.
Lincoln Tool is a forward thinking company in regards to their marketing initiatives. Rather than only using traditional methods of marketing, they are utilizing social media and listings on the OASIS (Online Aerospace Supplier Information System) web site to drive business directly to them. They have found social media to be a tool to build relationships and co-promote their products along with their suppliers' products. As an example, Scott posts pictures and videos of their products, capabilities, and production and tag suppliers. In turn, these companies reciprocate and relationships and brand awareness is built and shared.
A listing on the OASIS web site allows them to be pre-vetted for future business. The site provides a description of what they are capable of producing and only AS-9100 certified companies are listed on the site. Since only AS-9100 certified companies are listed on this web site, they are in a smaller pool – 30,000 companies that are AS9100 certified as opposed to the 100's of thousands on a traditional manufacturing database. As such, OASIS is driving business to them rather than "throwing the dart against the wall and hope the business comes."
The results speak for themselves:
- Cost Savings $25,000
- Culture – Changes to the quality processes improved production quality and turn around time.
- Increased Jobs by 4
- Increased/Retained Sales $750,000
- New Markets – Now able to bid on Defense contracts