Certifications play a vital role in ensuring quality and compliance with industry standards. However, the traditional process of collecting and managing certification data can be cumbersome and time-consuming, often causing businesses to turn away potential opportunities. Fortunately, Steelhead Technologies has designed a game-changing solution: automated certifications.
Albers Plating, LLC. is a division of Albers Aerospace, and delivers comprehensive plating services from its facility in Texas. Albers Plating is a AS9100D shop and is pursuing NADCAP certification. With a need to capture certification data quickly and accurately, Albers sought a solution to digitize the certification management process.
The Challenge: Egregious Data Collection Requirements
For many metal finishing companies like Albers Plating, the process of collecting detailed information to provide accurate certification data was a significant bottleneck.
The requirements for documenting processes, quality standards, and compliance were often cumbersome and time-consuming. Albers Plating, like many others, found themselves in a position where they had to turn away potential job opportunities because of the sheer effort required for data collection and certification management. This was not only frustrating but also limited their growth potential.
The Solution: Digitize Production and Automate Certifications
Albers Plating decided to take a proactive approach to address this challenge by eliminating paper on the shop floor and fully digitizing workflow and document generation. An industry leading scanner line and plant software enabled them to streamline data collection with the click of a button. Here's how it transformed their business:
Streamlined Data Collection: The automated certification system allowed Albers to collect data more efficiently and accurately. Instead of manual entry, the scanner line automatically recorded data during the finishing process. This reduced the risk of errors and saved a significant amount of time.
Enhanced Compliance: With automated certification, Albers could ensure that all required data was consistently recorded and maintained. This not only improved compliance but also made audits and inspections smoother and more reliable.
Increased Opportunities: Albers no longer had to turn away potential job opportunities due to data collection requirements. They could confidently quote jobs that they would have previously considered too burdensome. This expansion in their portfolio of projects led to increased revenue potential.
More Comprehensive Certifications: With automated systems in place, Albers found that they could include more information on their certifications than what was strictly required. This added value to their services and made them stand out in the market.
"When I joined the company, we were operating without any ERP system, resulting a need for organization and data visibility,” explains Dwayne Elliott, Operations Manager at Albers Plating. “Thanks to Steelhead, our certifications are now automatically generated, flawlessly corrected without any errors, and readily accessible for quick reference whenever I need to review a job. We are also using Steelhead for process control testing and have dedicated a considerable amount of time to renovating the laboratory, which included the acquisition of a brand new corrosion chamber to serve our customers.”
Business and Production Automation Drives Growth
The success story of Albers illustrates a broader trend of benefits of automation in the metal finishing industry. Beyond simply alleviating pain points, automation unlocks substantial growth opportunities for businesses. Here's why:
Lower Costs: Automated certification processes reduce the need for manual labor and data entry, resulting in cost savings. This allows businesses to allocate resources more efficiently and invest in other areas of growth.
Higher Capabilities: Automation doesn't just streamline existing processes; it also enhances capabilities. In Albers' case, they could offer more comprehensive certifications, demonstrating a commitment to quality that attracted more clients.
Increased Capacity: With automated certification in place, businesses can take on more projects without a proportional increase in administrative overhead. This scalability is essential for revenue growth.
Competitive Advantage: Companies that adopt automation early gain a competitive edge in the market. They can offer faster turnaround times, higher quality, and more flexibility in quoting jobs, attracting more customers and retaining existing ones.
“The way Steelhead is going to increase our customer base is because we now have efficient certification tracking to report for NADCAP capabilities,” explains Dwayne Elliott. “In a NADCAP world, capturing all the data digitally with the Steelhead NADCAP Scanner significantly increases the speed of our work because it can capture and track the data automatically, instead of writing each element down, line by line for each process.”
Managing documentation has long been a challenging and time-consuming task. However, as demonstrated by Albers Plating’s success story, the implementation of digital production and automated certification management can be a game-changer. It not only streamlines data collection and compliance but also opens new business opportunities by quoting jobs instantly, reducing costs, and enhancing capabilities.
As businesses continue to embrace automation, the potential for revenue growth through lower costs and higher capabilities becomes more accessible than ever before. It's a testament to the power of technology in transforming traditional industries and paving the way for a more efficient and prosperous future.