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ISO Certification Leads to Lean Improvements

With the help of: CONNSTEP


Privateer, Ltd. was founded in 1972 with a primary focus on manufacturing Identification Marking products for the aerospace industry. By embracing growing trends and technology, the company grew steadily over the next few decades and subsequently acquired three additional businesses that would become Label One in 2006. Privateer/Label One has an international presence and is located in Old Saybrook, Connecticut.

The Privateer division of their business is one of only a handful of companies approved to supply the aerospace industry with extreme performance rated tapes for fluid lines in aircraft. Companies such as Boeing, United Technologies, Eaton Aerospace, Bombardier, and Gulfstream as well as NASA have placed their trust in Privateer while Label One specializes in custom printing for industries such as health and beauty, beverage, pharma, and tool manufacturing. They have also partnered with some well-known national brands located in the state including Stanley Tools, Craftsman, and BIC. They also work with beloved local businesses like Avery Soda and Mountain Dairy as well as numerous vineyards, breweries, and Katherine Hepburn’s Cultural Center for the arts.

The Challenge

Privateer/Label One recognizes its responsibility as a manufacturer and supplier of pressure sensitive tapes, labels, and tags. Working closely with customers whose reputation and revenues rely on timely performance and zero-defect tolerances, it soon became evident they needed to step up their game in their quality management system (QMS). As a result, the company leadership met with CONNSTEP to discuss the necessary steps to achieve ISO 9001 certification, as it provides added assurance that they are operating to verifiable standards. This certification will also be a big competitive differentiator, with the company indicating that compliance to the standard would allow them to successfully pursue and expand their client base and grow sales in the aerospace category.

As a result of the ISO process, our employees have become more knowledgeable of what they are doing and why they are doing it, while the training adds value to their career paths.

— Sherri Schweitzer, Operations Manager

MEP's Role

Training, facilitation, and mentoring by CONNSTEP, part of the MEP National Network™, was provided to Privateer/Label One leadership and other key staff to ensure their understanding of the requirements of ISO 9001:2015 as well as their roles, responsibilities and expectations. Documentation was also covered with guidance and assistance provided in preparation for a certification audit.

Working with CONNSTEP, Privateer/Label One developed and documented a quality management system. The QMS complies with the requirements of the ISO 9001:2015 standard meaning the quality methods have been tested and approved which has increased the value of the company while enabling it to maintain its customer base and attract new ones. This process also helped the company become more Lean with measures put in place that identified gaps, with more efficiencies, saving money and reducing costs.

Created June 2, 2020, Updated July 12, 2021