6 Crazy Myths That Ruin Your AS9100 Quality System

At Brigham, we are lucky our AS9100 quality system is administrated by members of our senior leadership team who have not only worked in the aerospace sector, but have also taught aerospace compliance, specifically AS9100 at the British Standards institute. We also have two AATT qualified auditors.

There are many crazy rumours that prevent companies of our size attempting to gain certification. Here are some common misconceptions that surround AS9100. Don’t let these AS9100 myths hinder your implementation process. In this blog we will discuss the top 6 myths.

1. The first of our AS9100 Myths – It is only for large aerospace businesses

The first of our AS9100 myths is that AS9100 is only intended for use in large aerospace, space and defence organisations. Yet the standard is not just for large companies. The standard was written to not be prescriptive. It tells you what needs to be done, and not how to do it. This gives you a level of flexibility to apply it to your business no matter the size. 

2. You need documentation for everything

It is true that the standard does require specific documentation, and some will be necessary to ensure your quality management system is running effectively. This does not mean that everything needs to be documented. Detailed and complication procedures are not necessarily required for everything.

3. AS9100 tells you how to run your business

As already mentioned, the standard sets out what we need to do, not how to do it. For example, the standard requires that the business has a way of managing nonconformances and corrective actions. How this is done is up to you and your individual business needs. 

4. The Quality team own the QMS

Firstly, many smaller businesses won’t have dedicated quality teams, or even a quality manager. Even when the organisation has these people, it isn’t them who ‘owns’ the QMS. The intention is that the management system covers all aspects of the business. Individual process owners should be in place, and top leadership also has overall responsibility for the success of the system. A QMS works best when it is written to reflect the way you do business. In other words, your system won\’t be a bolt on that was just written to satisfy the requirements of the standard.

5. The QMS needs to be perfect from the start

Continual improvement is one of the key principles of AS9100. This means your processes and management system should be improved upon over time. When you first implement an AS9100 system, (especially if you had no system in place beforehand) it is not going to be perfect. As you use the system improvement opportunities will present themselves. Above all, dealing with nonconformities and customer feedback will also help you to define improvement actions. 

6. The final of our AS9100 myths – It costs a lot to implement & maintain

The final of our AS9100 myths deals with cost. Yes, there is a cost to implementing a quality management system. Moreover, certification presents opportunities to diversify and gain new customers. You can also significantly reduce costs by using AeroXL instead of an expensive consultant.

In conclusion, there are many other misconceptions about the AS9100 standard, but these are some of most common. Don’t let them put you off the idea of certification, or get in the way of implementation.

If you do want to consider certification, but need help, reach out to us. We offer consultancy support for all supply chain businesses, no matter what their size.

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