in Vol. 13 - May Issue - Year 2012
Focus on Nadcap in Europe
Joe Pinto at Aerospace Supplier eXchange in Singapore 2011
Nadcap symposium in France 2011
Joe Pinto visiting a customer in France 2011
The next Nadcap meeting will be held on June 25-29, 2012 in Berlin, Germany. There is no charge to attend. This is a good opportunity for aerospace suppliers and Nadcap subscribers to learn more and get involved with Nadcap. MFN had the chance to talk to Joe Pinto, Vice President & Chief Operating Officer of PRI.
(?) MFN: In our last interview in March 2011, we were asking you about your plans for PRI as you had only been in the job since August 2010. Now you are approaching two years at the organization, how would you sum up your time so far?
(!) J. P.: It has been a fascinating challenge. Coming into a not-for-profit organization from the for-profit sector, I have been quite inspired to see the level of cooperation and commitment that exists, not just internally but in fact throughout the aerospace quality and special process field. There is a real industry-wide commitment to global continual improvement. One of the ways PRI is helping our stakeholders do this is through knowledge-sharing activities, such as free training at Nadcap meetings. To see Nadcap stakeholders set aside commercial concerns and work together to ensure end customer safety through quality is impressive – and as someone who flies a lot, very reassuring!
Since we last spoke, PRI has defined the organizational strategy as to "deliver global, cost-effective, quality-oriented, customer-focused solutions by maintaining and enhancing existing programs and services and by applying the industry-managed accreditation model to industries where safety and quality are shared goals". This is very important because it shapes our current and future direction, and emphasizes the critical success factors of the organization.
(?) MFN: What achievement are you most proud of to date?
(!) J. P.: As an industry-managed organization, meeting the needs of our customers has always been our primary focus. However, there are different groups of Nadcap customers – specifically I’m talking about the aerospace prime contractors who mandate Nadcap accreditation to their suppliers; and the suppliers who are required to have the audits.
As I explained, last time we spoke, in the past, Nadcap has been mainly focused on the prime contractors. But there are about 50 prime subscribers and thousands of suppliers. We needed to redress the balance and offer more support to the supplier community.
I am very proud of the work that the Supplier Support Committee (SSC) and PRI staff have done recently. The mission of the SSC is to represent the supplier community and work with the Nadcap Management Council (NMC) to enhance the effectiveness and economical value of the Nadcap system for the mutual benefit of suppliers and subscribers. The supplier volunteers who lead the SSC, with support from PRI staff, have been instrumental in coming up with and implementing ideas that continue to improve the program. Their work is a great example of how, by working together and using shared strengths and expertise, we can collectively serve the industry better.
Of course, I recognize that this is all a work in progress and we have only just started to offer the kind of support that the aerospace suppliers need to be successful. The strategic goals that have been developed for PRI are focused on ensuring that we add value for our customers at all levels of the organization and there are many ways in which we are starting to do this.
(?) MFN: Do you have any specific examples?
(!) J. P.: Yes. At each Nadcap meeting now, there is a dedicated helpdesk for supplier delegates. Manned by supplier volunteers, this "Supplier Support Center" is an invaluable resource for first-time attendees who sometimes need a little help to identify which sessions will deliver the most value to them, and who better to advise them than people who have been in the same position and are now willing to share their knowledge?
Speaking of which, another initiative that the SSC is now working on is the rejuvenation of the "Supplier Mentoring" program. This program provides names and contact information of experienced Nadcap suppliers to those suppliers who are new to the process and/or need assistance with navigating through the Nadcap system. While these volunteers are not consultants nor expected to assist with specific company information, these mentors can provide insight and guidance on successfully working within the Nadcap accreditation process. I would encourage anyone interested in working with a mentor – or becoming a mentor themselves – to contact NadcapSSC@sae.org. Nadcap mentors are located throughout the world and we will match you with a supplier from your region.
(?) MFN: Last time we spoke, you also talked about addressing the perception of US-centrism. What have you done about this issue?
(!) J. P.: There have been a number of activities scheduled around this issue since we last spoke. For my part, throughout 2011, I visited a number of aerospace suppliers in Europe, specially France and Asia, and this effort is now continuing.
There were also three supplier symposia in France – in Paris, Pau and Valence – last year, organized by GIFAS and with support from Airbus, EADS, SAFRAN, Turbomeca and Eurocopter. The intent was to share information about Nadcap with suppliers in those regions. We are doing a similar thing in Germany this year, with a "Nadcap Discovery" session in Berlin on 26th June. This will be held in conjunction with the Nadcap meeting, which takes place from 25th – 29th June in Berlin. I also want to highlight the free training that is available at the Nadcap meeting in Berlin – topics include Root Cause Corrective Action, Nadcap Audit Preparation, Contract Review, Problem Solving and Internal Auditing. Due to the popularity of these free sessions, pre-registration is required – please contact eQuaLearn@sae.org for details.
I encourage all your readers in the aerospace industry to attend – the meeting (and the training) is free to participate and it’s a great opportunity to learn more about the program, as well as to network with other industry representatives. Learn more at:
(?) MFN: These are good customer outreach activities. Has there been any change within the PRI/Nadcap structure itself?
(!) J. P.: In terms of impact on the Nadcap program itself, the Nadcap Management Council is dedicating significant resources to a new Globalization & Strategy Committee, which is working on areas such as liaison with international bodies, language and culture. Meanwhile, the Nadcap Task Groups are always looking to increase the relevance and currency of the checklists they develop by incorporating international industry standards and norms. We’ve also been careful to make sure that the SSC comprises representatives from the Americas, Europe and Asia so that international views are considered as part of normal working process.
Finally, for PRI, I am also committed to ensuring that we continue to employ multi-lingual staff in the regional offices, as this is just good customer service for an international organization.
(?) MFN: Is there a risk that you are focused too much on Europe?
(!) J. P.: No – there’s also a lot of activity in the Asia Pacific region as well, with similar supplier symposia being hosted there and an active staff busy working with the local industry to share information about Nadcap.
In addition, there are many efforts we undertake that help all our customers by adding value to their Nadcap experience, irrespective of location. For example, recognizing that many aerospace suppliers are small, family businesses – or "mom and pop shops" as they are known in the US – who may not have access to marketing expertise, I have had the Marketing staff at PRI create a press release template that these companies can use to promote their Nadcap accredited status. This has been so well received, we have had requests from customers for guidance on ways to share Nadcap news internally, and we are developing something in response. Plus, each month we publish a "PRI Perspective" – a short whitepaper on a topic of interest to our customers to help them, such as internal auditing, transitioning to AS9100 Rev C and export control.
Another popular activity that any company can benefit from is a free "Nadcap Introduction" webinar, which runs through the basics of the program for companies who want to learn more. As it’s a live, online training session, anyone can participate and have an opportunity to ask questions too.
(?) MFN: To sum up, it looks like you have been very busy since we last spoke. We at MFN look forward to catching up with you next year to learn more about your progress. Thank you!