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Training Helps Manufacturer Serve U.S. Military Worldwide

North American Manufacturing Co. was founded in 1976 after landing its first government contract with the United States Postal Service. The company was responsible for manufacturing the metal postal boxes that are found in the lobbies of post offices around the country. Forty years and more than a million postal boxes later, North American Manufacturing has greatly expanded its product line through a number military contracts. Today, the company provides military backpacks, pouches, embroidered American Flags, and military cots for the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, and federal civilian agencies in the U.S. and around the globe. Based in Scranton, Pennsylvania, with around 40 employees, North American Manufacturing also makes backpacks for companies that have contracts with Argentina, Australia, Peru and other countries.

“The Northeastern Pennsylvania Industrial Resource Center’s services have greatly benefited our company. They helped us better position ourselves to secure more government contracts and also provided the training to help us obtain the required certifications to maintain these contracts.”

Joseph Shea,
Owner

Situation

North American Manufacturing maintains multiple Department of Defense (DoD) contracts, working closely with the U.S. Post Office and the Defense Logistics Agency (DLA). The company also serves multiple non-Department of Defense commercial markets. North American Manufacturing leaders made a management commitment to fully implement Federal Acquisition Regulations (FAR) by utilizing the ISO 9001:2008 standard guidelines for the development of an appropriate Quality Management System. Their objective was to reach a higher standard of quality, which would enable them to seek more work with the DOD and DLA.

Solution

North American Manufacturing asked the Northeastern Pennsylvania Industrial Resource Center (NEPIRC), a NIST MEP affiliate, to assist in the development of a comprehensive ISO 9001:2008 Quality Management System for the company. NEPIRC identified all of the required activities that the company needed to achieve certification, and conducted 18 days of on-site consulting for North American Manufacturing employees. North American Manufacturing put standard processes in place to achieve a higher degree of workplace organization, better inventory tracking, and a reduction in raw material inventory. By investing in ISO 9001:2008, the company is increasing sales, adding jobs, and gaining opportunities in new DOD and DLA markets.

Results

  • New investments of $60,000
  • Increased sales by $180,000
  • Added/retained 30 jobs
  • Training will help the company enter new markets