Using Certifications to Unlock New Market Opportunities
Practical Technologies, Inc.
Practical Technologies, Inc. (PTI), located in Baltimore, MD, is a minority-owned business and an experienced ISO-certified provider of electronics manufacturing services. PTI is part of the Semiconductor and Other Electronic Component Manufacturing Industry, and its capabilities include SMT assembly, through-hole assembly, chassis/box build (including cabling and wiring), custom cable assemblies, functional testing, and product repair and upgrade services. Serving a wide array of applications and markets, Practical Technologies applications include industrial, communication, medical, military, agriculture, and fire control.
PTI, like many electronic component manufacturers, was greatly impacted by material shortages, price increases, and longer lead times resulting in a decrease in profitability in a highly price-sensitive commercial market. With a large presence of aerospace and defense companies in the Maryland, D.C., and Virginia area, PTI knew there was an opportunity to grow the business, increase sales, and diversify its revenue streams by entering this industry. PTI contacted Maryland MEP asking for support to receive an AS9100 certification in order to establish itself as a qualified supplier in these industries and capitalize on several large contracts already identified.
To help PTI gain access to new markets and become a qualified supplier to the aerospace and defense industries, Maryland MEP provided technical assistance through the Maryland Supply Chain Resiliency Program for PTI to receive an AS9100 certification. AS9100 is the internationally recognized standard for implementing Quality Management Systems (QMS) for the aviation, space, and defense industries. The process of gaining this certification and the technical assistance provided by Maryland MEP included a review of PTI’s existing quality management systems, the development of AS9100-compliant policies, processes, and procedures, and additional guidance throughout the audits to ensure a successful appraisal.
By becoming AS9100 certified, PTI is now a qualified supplier able to improve the supply chain of the aerospace and defense industries as well all manufacturers in need of high-quality electronic components. This certification allowed PTI to enter new markets which led to an immediate increase in sales from new clients who required an AS9100 certification. Overall sales are expected to double in the next year and PTI is currently planning for new investments in people, processes, technology, and cyber security to prepare for the continued growth made possible by this certification.