October 26, 2010
Since 1979, Smith Tool and Design, a small, 16-employee, high-tech manufacturing facility located in the foothills of the north Georgia mountains, has been supplying its customers in industries as varied as medical, dental, cryogenics, automotive, electronics and aerospace with CNC machined parts, components and assemblies.
Despite the company’s success since starting in the basement of the founder’s home, there was room for improvement. Plant manager Brian Smith said there was a desire to streamline systems and implement lean manufacturing principles.
EI2 project managers conducted a lean manufacturing assessment and a business competitiveness review for Smith Tool and Design. Then Jenny Caudill, director of sales, took a two-day course at Georgia Tech, Understanding ISO 9001. A quality specialist with EI2 conducted a gap audit to identify areas of improvement, and helped the team develop an implementation plan. He also trained the staff in quality issues and internal auditing, helped them meet project milestones and reviewed all company documentation.
- Development of a new web site
- More diversified customer base
- Better-trained workforce
- $350,000 in capital investments
- 15 percent increase in sales
“I would tell anyone wanting to implement ISO that their lives would be a lot easier if they started with Georgia Tech,” said Jenny Caudill, director of sales.