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Program Management

Our Program Managers (PMs) are assigned directly to the customer to ensure we have a “single point of contact” communication process. This single point of contact process enables our PMs to represent the voice of the customer, to communicate accurate and timely information, and to streamline the design and tool build process. As the direct focal point to the customer, our PMs manage the customer’s program from concept inception to final delivery of that product. PMs:

  • Support key functions, including product development, concept design, cost optimization, planning and scheduling, performance metrics, kick off meetings, and weekly status updates to customers.
  • Ensure compliance with commercial and government contracts, provide risk assessments and act with speed and integrity in all aspects of our business.
  • Are trained in areas such as AS9100C, contracts, cost management, customer relations, risk management, ITAR/export compliance.
  • Interact with all internal and external support functions to communicate all facets of customer requirements.
  • Work with ERP and visual management systems to optimize production and maintain industry-leading on time delivery adherence.

Most of our PMs are veteran tool makers, with extensive knowledge and skill sets in the area of design and the tool fabrication industry.

Risk Management

Our Program Managers use numerous tools to assess the risks associated with customer programs. Whether we are managing programs of significant magnitude or normal projects, we employ documented processes and operating procedures. We also utilize customer-driven risk mitigation plans, when requested.

 

Once an initial risk analysis has been completed, a team that encompasses all affected departments is formed, and a detail assessment is performed. That team looks at all factors associated with the risk and develops mitigation plans that can be quickly put in place to overcome the issue, if a given risk threshold is crossed. We identify, monitor, and reduce probability of occurrence, along with executing response plans. We continue to track and measure that risk until it is no longer considered a threat to that project or until the project is successfully completed.

Capacity Management

Our PMs manage capacity weekly, by each major function, to ensure we understand what is in our backlog as well as high-probability future work. This tool is our baseline to manage customer programs along with schedule performance. With capacity management by function, we know when we can support a customer request or need, by meeting with our internal teams to make adjustments to our workloads. When appropriate, we provide capacity charts to our customers to ensure they have confidence in our ability to manage and plan their work.

Scheduling Management

Scheduling management starts during the proposal process, when we review the request for quote including the customer’s need date for the project, the scope, current capacity, future high-probability work and long-lead-time materials. Accounting for all of those factors, we develop a bid based upon an achievable schedule.

 

Once a program is won and started, we provide weekly status reports to our customers. If changes are required by the customer, we negotiate these dates to the schedule as required.

Status & Visibility Reporting

Our PMs provide weekly status updates to customers on every program and project. Whether we are producing a large tooling string or a smaller tool package, you and your project receive the same level of visibility. We provide detailed project breakdowns and photos on the progressive build cycle of your tooling. We recognize the importance of timely status reporting to empower our customers to report upward to their leadership teams and external customers.

 

Many of our customers prefer weekly status meetings over the phone or using Web conferencing. Visibility reporting can present challenges for customers located outside the U.S., due to travel or time zones. We overcome these challenges through flexible communication tools that enable our PMs to provide accurate and timely visibility reporting to support any customer requirement.

Data Management

To ensure we are compliant to ASS9100C configuration management, data management plays a critical role in the design and tooling fabrication process. Dedicated data management personnel make it their prime responsibility to validate, transfer and monitor incoming and outgoing data files. Customer data is managed using Smart Team, which keeps its secure and organized.

 

Digital Product Definition (DPD)—We also utilize electronic data elements that specify the geometry and all customer design requirements for a product (including notation and parts lists), and the use of this data throughout an integrated Computer aided Design/Manufacturing (CAD/CAM) and Coordinate Measurement System (CMS).

ITAR / Export Services

Our staff, and each PM, is well trained on International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR). We comply with Department of State Publication No. 5 (DSP-5), which authorizes the temporary or permanent export of defense articles and/or technical data to a foreign person. To the extent possible under ITAR regulations, we minimize the difficulty and delay in exporting our products to customers.

  • Commercial items—those articles governed by the Export Administration Regulations (EAR). The Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) is responsible for implementing and enforcing EAR.
  • Non-commercial Items— defense-related articles and services regulated by the Department of the State, under the Arms Export Control Act (AECA) and implemented by the provisions of ITAR.
Strategic Supplier Base

We maintain a robust supplier base, treating our suppliers as business partners and as an extension of our operations. Each supplier undergoes an extensive approval process, including stringent quality standards related to AS9100C, before they are authorized to perform work. We have a dedicated department that manages all suppliers, record keeping, certifications and annual re-certification, to ensure our and their full compliance with customer and industry requirements.