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Tips on Transition from ISO 9001 to AS9100

By Rigoberto Stokes Subscribe to RSS | April 27th 2012 | Views:

A lot of companies, especially those in the vehicle manufacturing industry, are finding it difficult to stay in business because of the current recession. Small businesses are now forced to look for alternative revenue streams or else they will fail. With most businesses in the automotive industry trying to fend off bankruptcy, the aerospace industry—although feeling the brunt of the recession—has remained strong.

The aerospace industry is a good place to start if you’re planning to diversify your company’s revenue streams. However, you will need to upgrade your basic ISO 9001 quality system to the AS9100. Updating your existing quality system to the AS9100 Aerospace and Military Standard is a huge step forward in your company’s diversification process. For a lot of companies, this shift in quality system can seem like an intimidating and expensive task.

It’s important to note that the AS9100 standard incorporates the entire ISO 9001 standard, that’s why a lot of companies contest registering to both. The certificate for AS9100 usually references the ISO 9001, so in terms of internal and external auditing, only the AS9100 quality standard is required to satisfy both. However, AS9100 has some additional clauses, causing some extra work for most automotive parts suppliers to comply with both quality standard types.

Companies with a solid ISO 9001 quality standard system will find it easy to transition to AS9100. Aside from the additional emphasis on supplier management, product planning, configuration management, product and process tracking, and customers/operations requirement compliance, AS9100 is not that far off from the ISO 9001 standard base. The main difference is not so much in the additions but how the external auditors enforce the standard.

External auditing bodies place a bigger emphasis on whether the implementation of a quality standard system is actually beneficial for the company. They will also see if a company is genuinely working toward continuous improvements in areas that have been overlooked by the previous ISO 9001 auditors. Areas of emphasis include analyzing the effectiveness of corrective action and the proper implementation of customer requirements within the quality management system.

During the AS9100 registration process, you will need to convince an auditor of two things: the projection of your company’s confidence in AS9100 and your company’s ability to improve its quality management system. Making sure your company does both can go a long way in convincing the auditors that your company is committed to success.

There are various consulting firms that can help your transition from ISO 9001 to AS9100 compliance. These companies can provide you with books, videos, webinars and training to aid you in your transition. You can read more about AS9100 at and

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