By Ms. Jacqueline Boucher (U.S. Army CommunicationsElectronics Command (CECOM))April 12, 2018
TOBYHANNA ARMY DEPOT, Pa.-- To manage the innovations of today and tomorrow Tobyhanna Army Depot is simplifying processes by transitioning to a single quality management system (QMS).
Fresh revisions to the International Organizational Standardization (ISO) 9001 have made it possible for personnel here to meet and maintain established standards by applying just Aerospace Standardization (AS) 9100 requirements to the depot's business practices. For years, Tobyhanna has maintained both ISO and AS certifications.
The AS 9100 is an aerospace standard based on the ISO 9001 quality system, and includes quality system requirements established by the aerospace industry in order to satisfy Defense Department, NASA and the Federal Aviation Administration. AS 9110 standards are based on AS 9100, and include requirements that are critical for the maintenance of military aircraft and specific to Tobyhanna's avionics workload.
"The AS 9100 is a natural fit for us because we're a defense organization," said Quality Assurance Specialist Bill Stevens. "Plus, the move to a single certification aligns us with the depot's Toby 2020 strategic initiative, which focuses on readiness, people and the future." Stevens works in the Continuous Process Improvement Directorate's Quality Assurance Division.
According to Stevens, the standards provide an outline on how to treat products, bring in business, train personnel, keep records, etc.
"When we look at the landscape of the organic industrial base or commercial industry, there are not a lot of places certified to both AS 9100/AS 9110," Stevens said. "Getting certified to both positions us well for future business."
Prior to the transition, Tobyhanna boasted certifications in ISO 9001, AS 9100 -- Requirements for Aviation, Space and Defense Organizations; AS 9110 -- Maintenance Repair and Overhaul, and ISO 14001 -- Environmental Management Systems -- Requirements with guidance for use.
Depot leaders are confident changing to one quality management system will result in a more cost effective, efficient organization, as well as increased opportunities for new workload.
"This is a culture change that we can only benefit from in the future," said Wayne Swire, chief of the Systems Integration and Support Directorate's Plating Branch. "The first step to ensuring compliance is involving the leaders of each organization, then passing critical information down to the last worker on the floor."
Supply Technician Randy Schultz has noticed people seem receptive to the new way of doing business. He works closely with customers, item managers and program managers while assigned to the C4ISR Directorate's Secure Communications Branch.
"I think the transition from ISO to AS will benefit the depot in the long run as we try to procure future workload," he said, admitting there didn't seem to be a lot of differences between the two programs. "Why maintain two systems when one meets all of our needs?"
International standards provide world-class specifications for products, services and systems to ensure quality, safety and efficiency.
"The aerospace and defense quality certification helps the depot maintain a working environment that is quality focused," said Will Ramey, Continuous Process Improvement Directorate director. "By looking at our business model, transitioning to the single standard will help Tobyhanna reach its goal of the best value for the warfighter.
Tobyhanna Army Depot is a recognized leader in providing world-class logistics support for command, control, communications, computers, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance systems across the Department of Defense. Tobyhanna's Corporate Philosophy, dedicated work force and electronics expertise ensure the depot is the Joint C4ISR provider of choice for all branches of the Armed Forces and industry partners.
Tobyhanna's unparalleled capabilities include full-spectrum logistics support for sustainment, overhaul and repair, fabrication and manufacturing, engineering design and development, systems integration, post production software support, technology insertion, modification, foreign military sales and global field support to our joint warfighters.
About 3,200 personnel are employed at Tobyhanna, which is located in the Pocono Mountains of northeastern Pennsylvania. Tobyhanna Army Depot is part of the U.S. Army Communications-Electronics Command. Headquartered at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland, the command's mission is to research, develop, acquire, field and sustain communications, command, control computer, intelligence, electronic warfare and sensors capabilities for the Armed Forces.