SRI Summation Research, Inc. ISO 9001 Case Study
Located in Central Florida’s Space Coast in Melbourne, FL, Summation Research, Inc. (SRI) is an engineering and manufacturing company providing high performance telemetry and data communication products and systems to defense, government and commercial markets worldwide. Founded in 1989, SRI specializes in unique off-the-shelf and custom solutions requiring expertise and innovation in RF, analog, and digital signal processing. Their products address a wide range of applications requiring the gathering, processing, and communication of vital test or operational data – to across a street, to manned and unmanned aircraft, or to orbiting satellites.
SRI’s Satellite Telemetry and Range Telemetry Equipment operates in common Commercial and Defense frequency bands, supporting flight control, data networking, ranging, image data, and TT&C requirements. Their Land Mobile Radio products support data acquisition and communications in transportation, Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) and other fixed and mobile markets.
SRI is a highly technical electronics design and manufacturing business with 11 employees. “This was our second attempt at achieving ISO 9001:2015 certification. We used a consultant for our first effort also, however the guidance provided was minimal, generally consisting of “Just write down what you do.” Without clear guidance, we read the ISO 9001:2015 standard and proceeded to map it to our legacy Quality Management System (QMS). This resulted in a lengthy system that was overly complex, did not represent how we worked, and would likely have resulted in a system that, even if we had passed the initial audits, could not be reasonably maintained by a company our size,” stated Todd Gross – President of SRI.
Todd added, “When we were ready to try again, we polled local companies our size that had successfully achieved ISO 9001 certification. We had multiple recommendations for Jim Lee and the SimpleQuE team. After discussions with Jim, we were convinced that the SimpleQuE approach would help us avoid the overcomplication trap we had inadvertently set for ourselves.”
SRI abandoned their initial ISO 9001:2015 effort which suffocated in a blizzard of ‘box checking’ paperwork. The goal in their second effort was to craft a QMS that met the standards of ISO 9001:2015 but could be maintained and contribute to their growth as a company, rather than just be a piece of paper on the wall.
“We were skeptical that a simplified approach would meet all the requirements of the rather dense standard,” admitted Todd. “Talking with Jim and our on-site facilitator, Doreen Everett, their approach and track record with other companies in our position convinced us to trust their process.” Jim emphasized that “Doreen did a great job working with a group of engineers that wanted to over-engineer the quality system.”
“SimpleQuE was able to provide a much-needed sanity check on how to become and remain compliant with the requirements of ISO 9001:2015 without unduly burdensome processes,” noted Todd. Due to customer requirements and internal needs, “We also used simpleQuE for training in Root Cause Analysis, design and process FMEA’s. They provided great hands-on training and tools for implementing these programs.”
SRI achieved ISO 9001:2015 certification in just five months after working with the simpleQuE team on implementation to prepare for their certification body audits. Todd reflected on SRI’s commitment to their QMS initiatives. “Our initial effort highlighted the challenges of building a compliant, workable QMS without in-house Quality Assurance specialists. The Goldilocks challenge of finding the balance between an overly complex, too hard system and a non-compliant, too soft system was daunting. SimpleQuE helped us strike a great balance, creating a system that followed our natural business processes and filled in the gaps needed for ISO 9001:2015 compliance. Our completed QMS was just right for us.”
End result – SRI implemented a client-oriented philosophy of continuous business improvement. By achieving ISO 9001 - certification, SRI continues to demonstrate the commitment to their customers and offer the highest level of quality. All of their achievements are built on the foundation of the company’s core values that inspire entrepreneurship, openness and responsibility.
“During the process, we came to understand that a well-implemented QMS is more than just a process for maintaining product and service quality. Through formal data collection and review, it can contribute to the overall growth and success of a company and its employees by driving continuous analysis and improvement,” summarized Todd.
“SRI highly recommends simpleQuE for companies looking to implement or streamline and improve an ISO 9001:2015 compliant QMS or process analysis program.” – Todd Gross, President Summation Research, Inc.