East Valley Precision Announces Their ISO 9001:2008 Certification with the Help of Consultant BMSC
East Valley Precision’s founder and President, Robert Lyons has a number of great qualities. At the start-up period of his machine shop, he had the ability to envision a successful business and proved his vision to be true. He focuses on what really matters in business, which is quality and superior customer satisfaction. He is an entrepreneur, he is aggressive in his business and he feels just plain fortunate to have what he has today and to be able to have such excellent customer relations. His hard work and perseverance has paid off.
A few years after high school, Rob was hired by Motorola in New Mexico as a temporary worker. He did so well that Motorola hired him on as a permanent worker, and over the years due to his hard work and commitment, he saw a number of promotions that lead to his process / Mechanical Design engineering position in their ceramics division. When the plant was sold in New Mexico, Motorola moved Rob and other valuable employees to Phoenix, Arizona.
After 16 years working for Motorola, again there was a plant closing, and Rob went to work for CMC Technologies as a Process Engineer, Product Design Engineer and Mechanical Design Engineer. Rob says, “I always interacted with machine shops, but never worked in one.” Despite his lack of experience, Rob stated “I dove in head first” and he opened his own machine shop in 2004, naming it East Valley Precision (EVP). “I knew I could learn how to make parts, and I had a lot of contacts from ex-Motorola employees who had moved on to different companies.” The new entity opened in a small 2000 square foot facility with just 2 CNC mills and 1 CNC lathe. Rob also felt that due to his extensive back ground in manufacturing that it would assist in understanding truly what his future customer’s needs would be.
How Rob funded his new company is nothing short of astounding. While working for Motorola, Rob was the lead facilitator in the purchase of 3 very high-end machines for their ceramic LTCC micro-electronics operations which were manufactured in Italy. After traveling to Italy 5 times for engineering and training on these machines, Rob became the United States “expert” for this brand of equipment. After leaving Motorola, Rob stayed in close contact with them to pursue in purchasing the equipment. Eventually after hounding them for 3 long years on a weekly basis, Motorola happened to close their Ceramics operations and sold their building to Arizona State University. While there was the typical big business bureaucracy that Rob encountered, eventually he acquired the machines, and flipped them for a very handsome profit. Rob credits his aggression and the sale of the machines with his opportunity to open his own machine shop.
At first, Rob tried to manage his new shop while attending machining classes at the local community college. But the orders, almost exclusively from the semiconductor industry, were coming in too quickly, and Rob had to focus on his business nearly all of his waking hours. But even during these early days as a new machinist and machine shop owner, Rob was developing his own designs for chopper parts. Rob says, “The first few products I made sold well, but I knew that a successful business would require that EVP focus on our current customers.”
In year two, EVP was earning a profit, and Rob and his team have never looked back. Business was so strong after four years that the company moved to its current facility in Gilbert, into a 6500 square foot facility that Rob owns. “We have been very fortunate”, Rob says. “We never experienced a slowdown, not even during the recession that started in 2008.” Rob contributes this success to his valuable customers and his core team member’s dedication, precision abilities and vast knowledge of precision machined products. Rob also says “I want to make sure that I have a solid foundation for my son’s future.” Rob’s son “Hunter” is 12 years old but already shows traits of his father’s qualities and creativeness and Rob is hoping for him to run the business right beside him some day.
Today, EVP specializes in CNC Milling, CNC Turning, CNC Surface Grinding, Engineering, and a variety of other services. They are expert at machining aluminum, stainless steel, titanium, plastics and just about any other material that is called for. Their customers span the medical, pharmaceutical and semiconductor industries.
Rob says, “We have numerous proprietary machining methods that we have developed over the years which allow us to be very competitive on product pricing and delivery. With our highly talented engineering and programming team we are able to produce our customer’s products with superior quality. In addition with Rob’s aggressiveness, he isn’t afraid to purchase additional new equipment to assist in producing quality parts in a reasonable time frame for his valued customers. Last year alone, EVP purchased two brand new CNC mills, one with a CAT50 Spindle and one CNC lathe with live tooling.
Last Spring, one of Rob’s very strong customers in the Medical Manufacturing industry began asking about EVP’s ISO certification plans. Though EVP had been supplying them with product for several years, they determined that it was necessary to be ISO Certified to be placed on their approved vendor list. Since they were extremely satisfied with EVP’s quality, they suggested that EVP get certified so that they could continue doing business with them. The customer also stated that EVP would be the only approved vendor in Arizona and will get nationwide recognition once on the list. With that said, Rob knew he would have to pursue certification.
Rob wasn’t at all excited about the prospect of certifying to ISO 9001:2008. He says, “In my years at Motorola, where we were certified, it meant countless hours of paperwork, and so much overhead that it seemed to get in the way of our jobs. I just didn’t see the value versus the effort.” Despite his reluctance, with a valuable customer asking for the certification, Rob took the step.
Rob says, “I saw Bretta Kelly, owner of BMSC, all the time in the Metalworker magazine. Not only did I see the BMSC ad, but I always read about shops, often in the valley, that utilized her company’s services, and they all seemed very pleased with her.” He continued, “I contacted BMSC in late spring, and both Bretta and her colleague Debbie Hart came out to learn more about my business requirements so that they could provide a quote.” He continued, “Within hours of our meeting, I signed the contract for their consulting services.” Rob was so pleased with the relative ease of certifying BMSC offered his company, and he says he didn’t look any further for other ISO consultants. EVP began working with BMSC in the summer of 2013, and they officially certified through Great Western Registrar in September (less than 3 months). Their results in the certification were outstanding, with zero findings! And yes, as far as Rob’s Medical Manufacturing customer, EVP is the only machine shop in Arizona on their approved vendors list due to his certification!
Rob says, “The process to achieve certification was so much easier than I had expected. Our manual is very small (less than the length of a nickel), and we’re already beginning to see new business since certifying, to be exact we have acquired 4 new customers! Since Rob is a small business and runs a lean operation, without a dedicated quality person, he elected to purchase BMSC’s ISO 9001 Maintenance Program, where the company visits EVP each quarter to perform audits. Rob says, “This will ensure that there are no surprises for our major audits.”
BMSC’s Debbie Hart was involved with EVP on a regular basis while they were preparing for the certification. She says, “Rob is extremely quick to respond to recommendations. When I asked where his inspection room was and he said he didn’t have a dedicated room, I recommended this for the company. I came back 2 days later and there were complete plans for an inspection room, which was built out in the following month!” She continued, “He is fearless in his pursuit of excellence for the company, and the entire team at EVP was open and accepting of change.”
To learn more on how East Valley Precision can help you with any of you precision machining needs, contact Rob at (480) 288-6601.
To learn more about ISO 9001:2008 or AS9100C certification support, contact BMSC at (602) 445-9400 or visit their website (Businessmsc.Com)
Hear from EVP’s Customers!
“EVP continues to add value to our operation through quick response and delivery times as well as competitive quoting/pricing. On several occasions we have relied on EVP to provide us with very aggressive lead times in order for us to make our own aggressive lead times. EVP is always there to support our company, with the highest degree of accuracy and professionalism.”
“As the design engineering manager of my company, I have been repeatedly tasked with searching out, qualifying and managing outside manufacturing vendors. In the area of manual and CNC machining, I have never sourced a better, more reliable and accurate machine shop than East Valley Precision, or the owner/operator Robert Lyons.”
“EVP offers superior customer support and quality. Our company will continue to depend on them as a trusted supplier.”