Cirris ensures quality products and achieves AS9100 certification

About the company
Company size
51-200 employees
Medical Devices

Cirris is a manufacturing company based in Utah that makes cable and harness testing equipment to ensure their customers’ products, which range from aircraft to catheters to washing machines, and more. Cirris serves customers all around the world, including Antarctica with cable testers, adaptors, accessories, and software.

The Challenge

Cirris had been relying on a number of home-grown software solutions to manage their operations and ensure regulatory compliance. These programs were developed by the company’s founder, who wanted to keep costs down.

“The software got rooted into the company over the years,” explains Gene Vought, Quality Manager at Cirris, who joined the organization in 1995.

While these programs worked well enough for several years, Cirris eventually found itself running into problems with certifications because they were having a hard time tracking documentation changes over time.

“Eventually, there came a time where we wanted to do things the software wasn’t letting us do anymore,” Vought says. For example, the team would update a document in Word but forget to save an older copy, which made the auditing process unnecessarily cumbersome. “Whenever we got audited, documentation was just a mess.”

The Solution

The Cirris team knew there had to be a better way forward. First, they tried to take care of it using paper systems, but quickly realized such a system left much to be desired. Next, Vought and his team decided to look for a solution on the market.

They came across Qualio’s electronic quality management system (eQMS) and were drawn to it because it fit in their budget, was incredibly easy to use, and adapted to their existing workflows.

“It was pretty much a unanimous decision to go with Qualio right from the beginning,” Vought says.

The Results

Shortly after deciding to invest in Qualio, the Cirris team knew they made the right decision. Here are some of the benefits they’ve already reaped from that choice.

1. AS9100 certification

Cirris has been ISO 9001-compliant since 1995, and they get audited every year to make sure they remain compliant. As the company began getting more involved in aerospace, they decided to aim for AS9100 certification, which covers quality system requirements and specifies additional requirements for the quality system of the aerospace industry.

“It doubles the requirements of ISO,” Vought says. “The requirements are a lot more stringent.”

With Qualio in place, achieving AS9100 certification was a breeze.
Whereas the process usually takes years to complete, “we did it in six months,” Vought explains. “We were pretty proud of that.”

2. Audit-readiness

With Qualio, Cirris is in a permanent state of audit-readiness. Everything the team does is documented within the system, so auditors have an easy-to-follow trail should they need to poke around.

“My job got really, really easy,” Vought says with a laugh. “I can’t even change a word anymore with it being documented.”

Thanks to Qualio, passing an audit has never been easier for Cirris.

“The auditor comes in, looks at the documentation, sees how it works and how everything is documented so nicely inside Qualio, and there’s no question,” Vought says. “We just move on to the next step.”

3. A single source of truth

Qualio gives Cirris a single source of truth for all of its documentation, corrective actions, forms for purchasing, supplier evaluation, and supplier questionnaires, among other data. As a result, the Cirris team always knows where to look to find the information they need to do their jobs.

4. Quick implementation

Vought was able to implement Qualio in four short weeks. The experience was painless — in large part because of that single source of truth. “When the auditor came in, we were ready, and it was a smooth transition,” Vought continues.

5. No learning curve

After the rapid rollout, the Cirris team was able to get up and running quickly, with virtually no learning curve. Vought believes that this is due to the platform’s intuitive, user-friendly design and also because they were able to build the forms in a way that simulated what the older forms looked like.

“I could take what we had and tweak it to look like what we were doing already,” Vought explains. “That way, people didn’t have to go through any drastic changes. The steps were all the same.”

6. Top-notch customer support

When it comes with using any new piece of software, you’re bound to run into issues sooner or later. Thanks to Qualio’s best-in-class customer support team, none of those issues ever held the Cirris team back.

“I could type in a question to Qualio and get a phone call within minutes: ‘Gene, here I am, here’s your answer,’” Vought continues. “The help was amazing.”

Cirris currently has 15 users in Qualio. Due to the success they’ve had with the eQMS, Vought hopes that number will continue to increase as the company moves further into the future.


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