What good looks like: Rev D and operational excellence

The introduction of AS9100 Revision D was a landmark development in British aerospace. For the first time, we began to move away from traditional quality management systems towards operational excellence. This would put more emphasis on product safety, as well as a new focus on “human factors”.

Like any industry-wide shift, this was initially met with objection.

However, thanks to our ongoing partnership with ISOMA Crescendo, we’ve noticed improvements across the board at Meggitt Avionics, from customer satisfaction to company culture.

Nobody can make a stronger claim for operational excellence than our quality teams. Both our Principal Quality Engineer, Paul Brooker, and Product Quality Assurance Manager, Ian Sawyer, say that key data is more accessible than ever.

Beforehand, many companies would rely on flow charts to outline procedures. “With the ISOMA system, we can attach guidance material and procedures to each activity box within the process map. This eliminates all doubt – there can be a document held behind it, with a pictorial and written version,” says Paul Brooker. Maps, instructions and processes are all available within two clicks.

First and foremost, this has been instrumental in satisfying the “human factor” criterion for Rev D. In particular, Ian Sawyer notes the effect ISOMA has had on new starters. “It reduces our training requirements by telling them exactly what to do and the standard they’re working with. For example, if you’re in purchasing, each meta tag is linked to your role and corresponding industry standard.”

It’s a problem seen all too often: staff will open long procedural documents, skip through them and never look at them again. With an operational excellence model, dashboards are user-centric, helping to save time and let staff focus on their own KPIs.

The next key benefit is to our customers and suppliers. Based on previous quality management models, many of them initially struggled to see why we no longer use written documents. Now, we can show them relevant information on the BMS, whether it’s a specific box or a pop-up hint. We can give them exactly what they want, resulting in huge time savings and better customer satisfaction.

Rev D features a renewed focus on risk management. With the ISOMA system, we can meet our auditors’ strict compliance standards more efficiently. “We put our processes into the cloud and auditors were blown away by how well it was laid out,” says Paul Brooker.

In turn, these time-saving layouts have also benefited our health and safety and environmental safety compliance, while making it easier to achieve industry certifications. It’s why Meggitt Avionics are the best-performing division of Meggitt PLC.

Our company culture is changing. We’re moving towards a human-centric focus that eliminates tedious processes and reduces risks. It’s causing ripples amongst our staff, suppliers and auditors, and improving the industry as a whole.

If more companies can accept this cultural and technological change, we can truly show them what good looks like.

operational avionics
Katie Lingo
by Katie Lingo
3rd January 2021

Project Details

Skills: Journalism

Date: 28th February 2022

Project Info

This was an article for Aerospace Manufacturing magazine, looking at operational excellence from the perspective of Meggitt Avionics.