Albuquerque’s Theta Plate pursues tailored guidance

A second generation family-owned Albuquerque company specializing in precious metal plating, Theta Plate Inc. serves customers from all over the world. In order to access higher margin business and DoD markets, the company obtained ITAR registration and later, at the prompting of company president C. Aaron Velasquez, decided to further its defense qualifications, to include ISO 9001 Quality System Registration. Upon contacting a third-party contractor to prepare for ISO registration, Mr. Velasquez began to reconsider — the package of documents and procedures that arrived were generic, and although Theta Plate would be registered with those documents and procedures, the company would have to somehow completely change operations. It seemed Theta Plate would have to replace processes and procedures that had served them for 40 years with a system that did not match their operation.

After discussing his interest with another plating company, Mr. Velasquez was referred to New Mexico MEP for ISO training. The training consisted of three days of classroom presentation — a review the standard, the standard’s intent, and how to comply with the standard — and three days of on-site implementation where a New Mexico MEP representative worked with Theta Plate employees on-site to help prepare documentation, processes, and implementation.

The upshot of that partnership was a procedural update tailored to Theta Plate’s existing processes that minimized its impact on employees.

“I can’t believe that we developed such an elegant system.” – Mr. Velasquez upon completion of three days of on-site work