Kansas City, MO – www.ditmco.com
DIT-MCO celebrates its 75th anniversary this year.
Andrew J. Zawisza, quality assurance manager at DIT-MCO International, has been with the company for more than 33 years—yet fourteen people have more seniority than him.
DIT-MCO Leads the Way
Andew Zawisza, Quality Assurance Manager Of DIT-MCO International of Kansas City, MO, discusses the company’s new additive manufacturing work, offers advice for other plants looking to improve quality, and explains what’s on the horizon for 2023.
The name comes from Drive-In Theater Manufacturing Company. Though the company sold off that portion of the business in the 1950s, the name stuck. The company now makes aerospace testing equipment, with the main product line being ground support testing systems. They also produce parts for the U.S. Department of Defense aircraft.
Dealing with supply chain issues – lead times of more than a year for some components – means that the company has had to raise levels of inventory, not an ideal situation, but they’ve been able to adapt through it all. “It keeps us on our toes,” says Zawisza.
The company has been AS9100 certified for over 20 years. The day we spoke, he had had two meetings with Boeing; one focused on Advanced Product Quality Planning. With the AS9100 standard, he notes that employees must understand the importance of quality on everything they build. “There’s no lackadaisical attitude,” he says.
For other companies looking to improve quality, Zawisza says to focus on documentation and training. “Training is always the biggest thing for us,” he says.
Though their work is not seasonal, he notes that the last quarter of the year is always particularly busy. This year one employee in particular did a “fantastic job getting systems out to customers by the end of the year. She was able to finish critical assemblies in record time.” The company recognized her with a monetary award and presentation in front of the production team.
This seems to touch on two things that many people look for in their career: recognition and compensation. It’s no wonder that the company has such loyal employees.
“I really rely on my quality team for all of their expertise and dedication," says Zawisza. “The team approach is very important to me and I am extremely happy with the way our team works together, day in and day out.”
The company offers fun activities for the staff such as a Halloween costume contest and a chili cook-off. Zawisza won the chili cook-off a few years in a row, but has been shut out the past few years, he says. In keeping with the spirit of continuous improvement, he says it’s time to up his game.
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