Vanguard Manufacturing Company, a dynamic startup specializing in precision machining, set out on a mission to carve its niche in the aerospace sector. Having just come online in the summer of 2023, Vanguard’s founders knew the importance of starting their business operations on the right foot with a comprehensive ERP system that could streamline their operations and quality requirements.
The founders were certainly no strangers to the aerospace industry. With extensive backgrounds in quality management, they had already operated Advanced Aero Coatings for quite some time, serving an impressive list of Aerospace OEM’s. With a desire to vertically integrate Vanguard Manufacturing into their offering, the team would be well positioned to become a powerhouse of aerospace manufacturing productivity. Vanguard aimed for excellence from the outset. Their existing relationships in the industry along with a talent pool of seasoned professionals gave them the foundation to launch with confidence. That being said, there was one last building block that needed to fall into place. In order to align their operations with the stringent requirements of the aerospace sector, they needed a comprehensive ERP system tailored to aerospace manufacturing.
Starting their business off with a clean slate, Vanguard considered the challenge of establishing efficient business processes for their machine shop which met the exacting standards necessary for aerospace certification, particularly AS9100. With their substantial experience in the industry and existing relationships with aerospace OEM’s, Vanguard’s founders already knew the high standard of excellence their future customers would require from them. This importance of being able to showcase operational efficiency, precision, and an unwavering commitment to quality propelled the search for an ERP & QMS (Enterprise Resource Planning & Quality Management Systems) solutions that could help them achieve their operational goals. They had a list of requirements, and the search for an ERP & QMS partner commenced.
Floyd, Vanguard’s President, stumbled upon ProShop online through LinkedIn. Recognizing its potential to address their unique needs, Floyd began a thorough vetting process to see if ProShop would be a suitable platform and ERP partner for their new venture. After a careful review of ProShop’s capabilities, Floyd was confident that he had found the solution he was looking for. The deeply integrated QMS really set ProShop apart from the other systems that Floyd and his team considered. Despite some common reservations associated with ERP implementation for startups, Vanguard decided that ProShop offered the features and support which would be crucial to their operations, along with the visibility needed to build confidence in their target client base.
Working closely with ProShop’s implementation team, Vanguard was able to implement ProShop more quickly than expected. ProShop’s modular structure along with a pre-populated quality management system played a pivotal role in efficiency building out their internal business processes. Gaining familiarity with ProShop’s estimating module was also of significant importance in order to supercharge their new start-up with a pipeline of quoted work. Completing estimates in ProShop ensured a meticulous examination of true cost elements, which was a critical consideration for Floyd and the team in dealing with aerospace projects to ensure competitiveness and profitability.
Vanguard’s unwavering commitment to quality was substantiated when they achieved AS9100 certification within 2 months of signing up with ProShop. The certification process, often perceived as a daunting challenge, was rendered more manageable with ProShop’s paperless system. While it traditionally would have taken much longer for a brand new company to achieve AS9100 certification, the Vanguard and ProShop team decided to redefine what is possible. Within a record-breaking two-month timeframe, the Vanguard team went from a blank slate to being an AS9100 certified shop while at the same time, successfully implementing ProShop. This was made possible by leveraging ProShop’s QMS Consulting Services and serves as a testament to both Vanguard and ProShop’s dedication in challenging the status quo. There were no findings after the stage 1 audit, nor were there any findings during the stage 2 audit which occurred 30 days later. This streamlined approach allowed the auditor seamless access to review records efficiently. This auditor, already familiar with ProShop, commended it’s organization and operational efficiency.
Preceding their formal AS9100 certification, Vanguard underwent an informal audit conducted by a prominent aerospace company and potential Vanguard customer. ProShop’s ability to swiftly retrieve records, present quality data like First Article Inspection Reports (FAIR), and offer a comprehensive overview of their operations greatly impressed the auditors. This resulted in Vanguard gaining approval to progress to the subsequent stages of becoming a certified vendor.
Getting onto the approved vendor list with prominent aerospace OEM’s is known to be a long and difficult process. ProShop simplifies and expedites that process by providing visibility during customer audits which demonstrates competency and establishes confidence with those customers much quicker than with traditional systems.
Bolstered by their successful AS9100 certification in addition to being powered by ProShop, Vanguard has stacked the deck in their favor for future success and growth.
In addition to growing the company, their plans include extending ProShop’s capabilities to their coatings division, Advanced Aero Coatings. This strategic move aims to perpetuate a high level of organization and professionalism across all facets of their combined enterprise.
Having laid a strong foundation, it’s safe to say that the team is extremely optimistic about the future of their new venture.
The synergistic partnership between Vanguard and ProShop serves as a testament to the transformative influence that choosing the right ERP/QMS partner can have in the success of a startup. From laying the groundwork for efficient operations to attaining industry-specific certifications, ProShop has had the pleasure of fueling Vanguard’s journey towards excellence in aerospace manufacturing.
The story of Vanguard’s inception and success underscores the pivotal role of choosing the right ERP/QMS system during the early stages of the business, particularly for startups with aspirations for aerospace excellence. ProShop, having helped to establish Vanguard’s business process and achievement of AS9100 certification, has once again demonstrated this fact. Beyond the ERP and QMS software product that meets your requirements, it’s important to align your manufacturing business with good partners, as opposed to vendors. The difference, as Vanguard experienced, is the pleasure of working with someone who desires and has the capacity and expertise to increase the rate of magnitude of your success.