Craftsmen Industries, Inc. is a market leader in design, engineering and production for marketing vehicles, large format printing, industrial fabrication services, medical trailers and medical vehicles. Located in St. Louis, Missouri, the company’s 127,000-sq.-ft. facility is home to almost 200 employees dedicated to providing the highest quality, design and consistency to its customers. Craftsmen specializes in custom production of experiential marketing vehicles for the event and promotion industry, and helps clients maximize their brand by crafting projects containing indoor/outdoor environmental graphics, vehicle graphics and signage.
As Craftsmen Industries earned a reputation for top quality performance, its customer base grew exponentially, but certain opportunities were still out of reach without ISO 9001-2015 certification. Craftsmen had courted a huge opportunity with a major aerospace company and learned they were in the running for a major contract, but they had only 15 months to gain their ISO 9001-2015 certification and fully implement it into its operational practices. To make matters worse, Craftsmen attempted an ISO implementation before, without success. Undaunted by the challenge, Craftsmen Industries’ President and CEO Mark Steele knew exactly where to go for help.
I know from direct experience that NIST’s MEP National Network is an invaluable resource for manufacturers nationwide. Without the MEP system, small businesses like ours couldn’t affordably access the high-level talent, skills and resources we sometimes need. Missouri Enterprise did an outstanding job helping us implement ISO 9001-2015, getting our certification, and teaching our people how to fish so we now confidently and expertly run the ISO program on our own. That success allowed us to win a $20M contract we couldn’t have gotten before. With Missouri Enterprise’s assistance, we’re punching above our fighting weight.
Missouri Enterprise, part of the MEP National Network™, proved to be exactly the resource Craftsmen Industries needed to get ISO 9001-2015 certified quickly, but more importantly to Steele, they didn’t propose just getting things set up-- Missouri Enterprise would teach Craftsmen’s team how to fully implement and run the program themselves, making it an integral part of the way the company does business. In other words, they would teach them how to build a quality system and culture.
At first contact, Steele encountered a highly capable Missouri Enterprise representative who quickly understood the situation and connected him with the right Missouri Enterprise resources. “I was impressed by him,” says Steele. “He does a great job, and the Missouri Enterprise ISO expert he brought to the table is a rock star! Their ISO project manager was extremely knowledgeable, competent and professional, and he helped us implement a world class system in record time.” Fifteen months later, the good people at Craftsman Industries were ISO 9001-2015 certified and running it expertly on their own.