Hero Int

Alliance for Manufacturing and Technology

Mercury Aircraft

Hammondsport, NY  www.mercurycorp.com

Company Profile: Mercury Aircraft Inc. was founded in 1920 and became a leader in the contract manufacturing world. It has 1.5 million square feet of manufacturing facilities in New York, subsidiaries in Florida, North Carolina, Minnesota and Mexico, alliance partnerships in Europe and Asia.

Situation: Mercury Aircraft had a long tradition of customer satisfaction, with many customers having 60-year relationships. However, much of its work went overseas. Mercury had to seek new markets and in doing so, found its lack of ISO registration was a disadvantage. And worse, it didn’t have the expertise in-house to conduct the internal audits.

Solution: Mercury decided to implement a documented system supporting the ISO9001:2000 standard. It pulled from company resources rather than hire a consultant to:
•    Identify procedure level, and work instruction level, documentation requirements.
•    Identify activity that supported each procedure and work instruction.
•    Document, via QMS Manual, procedures and work instructions all requirements related to the ISO standards.
•    Implement the new system.
•    Audit the system and seek ISO registration.

The first four steps took nearly two years. Managers realized they needed AM&T help to train auditors and seek ISO registration.

AM&T began with an extensive gap analysis and put together a detailed plan to bring the system to complete compliance to the standard. AM&T then provided internal audits rather than train Mercury employees.

Mercury Aircraft Inc. achieved ISO registration in January 2007. It expects to save $30,000 a year by not having to train auditors, and save the production hours, too.

Results: Mercury increased its customer base 20 percent within five months. Potential sales of over a million dollars a year have been recognized within that same time period. Mercury’s first surveillance audit found zero majors, zero minors, and zero opportunities for improvement.