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Re-establishing an AS9100 Quality Management System


Niagara Specialty Metals (NSM) is a manufacturer of tool steels, high speed steels, martensitic stainless steels and controlled expansion alloys. They also provide conversion processing for titanium, temperature and corrosion resistant metals, electronic alloys and other difficult to manufacture metals. In business since 1982, NSM is an ESOP Company and 100% employee-owned with 39 employees.

The Challenge

NSM was previously certified to the AS 9100 standard but allowed their certification to lapse in 2012 when none of their customers required it.  Management had a high level of confidence they could maintain the controls and discipline the quality system required without the need for a third party certification audit. The acquisition of a new product line in early 2020 brought new customers that required certification to this standard. Complicating matters was the required shutdown of businesses and activities due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The consultant was able to thoroughly understand our process to ensure a successful implementation of AS9100. It would have been much more difficult without Insyte’s support. The AS9100 certification will help us grow our business significantly.

— Bob Shabala, President

MEP's Role

NSM contracted with Insyte Consulting, part of the New York MEP and the MEP National Network™, to review the existing system and identify areas needing improvement to meet the requirements for the latest version of the AS 9100 standard. Initial reviews and discussions were conducted remotely due to the pandemic work environment. This did present some challenges, but the cooperation of the NSM team prevented this from growing into a major obstacle. A gap analysis of the existing system was performed to systematically identify areas requiring improvement.


Management and leadership were trained on the AS 9100 standard requirements. Insyte worked with NSM to develop the necessary documentation, forms and structure while training the workforce. Selected employees were trained to conduct internal audits. Audit findings were addressed as the audits progressed. Finally, an outside resource was brought in to perform a mock audit to verify NSM’s readiness for certification. The findings from the mock audit were addressed and NSM was successfully certified.

Created April 23, 2021, Updated July 16, 2022