Recently, Corrugated Metals, Inc. worked with the IMEC in Illinois to achieve our certification to the Department of Defense’s (DoD) Qualified Suppliers List of Distributors (QSLD). The QSLD is a set of standards that the U.S. Military requires companies to adhere to if they want to be able to sell bulk metal products to military units and programs.
Corrugated Metals submitted the initial application to the Defense Logistics Agency’s Qualified Suppliers List in March of 2010. The Defense Contract Management Agency conducted an on-site survey on July 9, 2010. The company was approved for the QSLD on July 21, 2010.
The decision to achieve this certification was based off of two factors. The first was practical, a $30 million contract from the Department of Defense was awarded to Infrastructure Defense Technologies (IDT), a division of Corrugated Metals, which meant that our products were seen by the DoD as being worthy of being utilized by the various branches of the military. The second factor was Corrugated Metal’s desire to continually improve and be certified in areas of quality, efficiency, and safety.
Many may raise the question of what does this mean for my company. So what does DoD QSLD certification mean for a non-military entity looking to source material from Corrugated Metals?
There are a host of criteria required to get this certification, but there are 3 top criteria that guarantee any company seeking products from a certified distributor will get. These top criteria include:
The DoD outlines that that “The Distributor shall be responsible for establishing, implementing and maintaining an organizational Quality Control (QC) Program.” Corrugated Metals met this qualification through its many years of quality production, but also by going through the ISO 9001:2008 Quality Management certification. This is a rigorous process that according to QMI-SAI Global about 32,000 organizations in the United States are ISO 9001 certified.
Having this quality certification and making quality a core attribute of Corrugated Metals manufacturing process not only gained us the QSLD certification, but it also guarantees to other customers that we focus on quality each and every day.
2. Product Traceability
The World Customs Organization reports that counterfeit goods account for nearly 10% of worldwide trade, an estimated $500 billion annually. The danger to any company that buys cheap products can result in inferior parts or components that result in significant downtime, equipment failures, and loss of customers due to illegally sourced material. Oftentimes, a U.S. distributor may have a reliable source, but that party may not know that its materials are counterfeit. They pass along the poor material or components to their customers and the awful trend continues.
Through the QSLD certification, a distributor must be able to trace the products or raw material so that they can verify to the DoD that the material or product is of high quality and it won’t fail when utilized the military. Having the certification provides an added level of comfort to a private company that the material or products that they are purchasing are legal and made in a quality manufacturing process.
The danger of buying cheap products is highlighted by the high failure rate commonly associated with cheaper, inferior products. Low-quality tools can result in production downtime and breakages, costing the company more money in the long run.3. Process Controls
Another requirement that the DoD has in place to receive certificiation is that the distributor must have process controls in place in order to fulfill its commitment to a quality management system. There should be a set of policies, procedures and processes that ensure the quality of a product, materials, or service.
With these process controls in place, a company like Corrugated Metals is well documented in what is needed to ensure the quality of their products and services. As well, this part of the certification process has verified that their process controls meets the U.S. Military’s strict criteria.
With the knowledge that a large government agency has inspected and qualified a company’s processes and products, and then approved them for use in various areas of the nation’s defense, should provide an additional level of assurance to any company seeking to do business with that company. As proud bearers of our DoD QSLD, Corrugated Metals believes this certification is an added level of product assurance to all of our customers, whether private or public.