TS: What is SmartCert and how does it help people in the fastener industry?
Lyndon: SmartCert is a cloud based, subscription platform that helps companies automate and take control of inbound and outbound certs. It was designed and built by the industry, for the industry. I spent 20 years watching required traceability documents hold up the works for suppliers, processors, manufacturers- all the way up to the OEM level. Perfect parts, sitting on a quarantine shelf, waiting for the paperwork to catch up with the shipment. Talk about the dime holding up the dollar! We built SmartCert to solve this problem and become the standard for sharing certs in the fastener supply chain, and beyond.
TS: Does SmartCert work within QMS and ERP systems, or is it a standalone product?
Lyndon: It’s both! The SmartCert platform stands on its own and also plays well with others. We have partnered with INxSQL to provide SmartCert functionality with enhanced automation to their customers. We have also integrated SmartCert into other systems and created a linking system that connects a part or customer to the associated cert package in SmartCert without the need for integration. Companies gain a lot of process efficiency regardless of how it’s used.
TS: Is it particularly beneficial for companies certified in ISO or AS?
Lyndon: Yes, it provides excellent management and visibility of cert packages for your entire organization. SmartCert is beneficial for any company that has product that requires certs, docs, and traceability. It is designed to help small garage operations all the way to giant OEMs.
TS: How did you get involved in SmartCert, and what is your background?
Lyndon: I have been in the fastener supply chain for 20 years, and I got my start in Detroit at a company owned by Ed Palm called Spiralock. We were bought by Black and Decker, then Stanley, then became Emhart. Since then, I’ve been primarily in sales for both manufacturing and distribution of fasteners. It was watching deals and relationships go sideways because of missing, lost or slow cert packages that I finally decided we, as an industry deserved better. So, I found the smartest folks I could find, and we built SmartCert.
TS: Where will the growth of SmartCert come from?
Lydon: Both through the user network and product rollout. First, the network effect has been amazing. Most of our customers want their customers to know their product is now powered by SmartCert, but they really want their vendors to start sending their cert packages via SmartCert. When this happens, the required documents automatically populate in your dashboard. Those are HUGE efficiency gains for the entire network of customers and vendors. Second, like your watch, phone, and some cars, we are constantly evolving. In fact, we are already working on SmartCert 1.5, updated security features for docs requiring ITAR protocol and IP issues (drawings, PPAPs), even document processing in the platform. We are just getting started!
TS: I spoke with you at the NCFA Social and it’s clear you are “all in” with SmartCert. Where do you see the company going and where do you see the fastener industry going that makes you excited about bringing this product to market?
Lydon: We really are all in. We launched in March of 2021, are close to 8,000 docs managed to date and adding customers all the time. It’s our mission to become the standard for cert transfer and management in the industry. We are proud to meet our customers where they are at, with tools they already have (internet, computers, mobile devices, label printers) to streamline their inbound, internal, and outbound processes as a partner in their digital transformation.
Even the leaders in our industry are making moves towards digital automation. SmartCert, and our parent company Aramid Technologies, is a partner in helping our industry make that transition with people who have walked in their shoes. We could not be more excited about what’s ahead. This cert problem is not unique to fasteners. We are also getting traction for SmartCert in the chemical, oil and gas, medical device, food, and automotive industries. Anywhere paperwork is causing bottleneck, we’ll be there to help!