Suppliers chafe at Boeing’s demand for costly certifications

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By Dan Catchpole


September 3, 2018, © Leeham News: Boeing’s insistence that more and more subcontractors meet stringent aerospace manufacturing standards risks adding cost and reducing flexibility to the supply chain, several direct and indirect Boeing suppliers tell LNC.

The aerospace giant is requiring more second and third tier suppliers have AS9100 certification. Until recent years, OEMs and their direct suppliers typically were the only companies that formally complied with AS9100.

Subcontractors were expected to conform to the standards, but did not have to formally comply with the requirements. Doing so is expensive and time consuming. Subcontractors’ work was covered by the Tier 1 suppliers’ or Boeing’s AS9100 certification.

The AS9100 standards were adopted in the late 1990s to improve and standardize quality management throughout the increasingly global aerospace industry.

  • Boeing pushing more subcontractors to be AS9100 certified, according to suppliers.
  • That risks adding cost and reducing flexibility in supply chain.
  • Some suppliers worry it’s a prelude to more cost cutting.

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