3 Things to Know When Choosing A Mil-Spec Supplier

Companies, suppliers, and manufacturers involved in the military and defense industries are well aware of the highly specialized nature of these products. Every part, component, or piece of equipment manufactured to serve the military and defense industry must adhere to a strict standards, commonly known as Mil-Spec.

Mil-Spec, short for “military specifications,” is used to describe a product’s physical and/or functional characteristics. Typically, these specifications go hand-in-hand with Mil-Std, which stands for “military standards” and describes what materials and processes can be used to fabricate a product. These guidelines can also be extended to the manufacturing and testing of a piece of equipment.

When choosing a supplier for your next project for the military industry, there are a number of criteria you need to check off. Here are three criteria your supplier should meet.

1. Previous ExpertiseChoosing a Mil-Spec Supplier

First and foremost, you need to ensure that your Mil-Spec is familiar with the project. This set of standards can be broad and diverse, so one of the best ways to expect a high quality final product is to work with a supplier with previous experience.

Almost all military contracts come with non-disclosure agreements. This means that if a supplier has done prior Mil-Spec work, they won’t be able to reveal too much about it. They should, however, be able to tell you whether or not they have done Mil-Spec projects before.

In order to get the best answers from a supplier, ask specific questions. The right manufacturer will be able to give you a straight answer, especially regarding the specifications and requirements of your project.

2. Proper facilities and environment regulation

Mil-Spec guidelines, especially coupled with Mil-Std requirements, dictate not only the outcome of the final product, but the environment in which it is produced. Almost every step of the required production process is outlined in great detail. This means that your supplier needs to be exceptionally detail-oriented. This includes maintaining a facility and environment that perfectly adheres to every production specification.

3. Research capabilities for Mil-Spec documents

Mil-Spec projects require a supplier that not only has the technical capabilities to manufacture your product, but also the ability to do the copious amounts of research that goes along with it. Mil-Spec and Mil-Std documents are comprehensive, extremely detailed, and most importantly, exhaustive.

This means that your supplier should also have staff prepared for reading through many volumes of Mil-Spec, Mil-Std, and Military Handbooks, among many others. The success of your final product depends on your supplier’s familiarity with these documents.

Learn more in Keats’ eBook

Choosing a Mil-Spec Supplier eBookThese considerations only scratch the surface of what you need to know when selecting a Mil-Spec supplier. Our eBook, Choosing a Mil-Spec Supplier: Criteria, Questions, and Pitfalls, has much more detail about the selection process.

Choosing a Mil-Spec Supplier eBook
Visit us today to download your free copy and learn everything you need to know about succeeding in your next Mil-Spec project.

A 2014 Year in Review for Keats Manufacturing Co.

2014 brought new trends, new resources and new websites for Keats Manufacturing Co. Before we look forward to 2015, we’re stepping back to highlight three achievements from the past year that are worth acknowledging.


Choosing a Mil-Spec Supplier: Criteria, Questions & Pitfalls

Choosing_a_Mil-Spec_SupplierBecoming a reliable supplier to defense- and military-related firms offers access to valuable contracts and invaluable market share. Whether you’re sourcing parts and assemblies or seeking a subcontractor, it’s important to know what to look for when making your selection.

Choosing a Mil-Spec Supplier: Criteria, Questions and Pitfalls reviews the critical factors to take into account throughout the Mil-Spec supplier selection process.

Download the eBook Today >


Designing & Manufacturing Metal Stamped Medical Device Components

Keats-Medical-Device-eBook-CoverThe medical device industry is one of the fastest growing business sectors, generating over $110 billion in the United States today. The shift toward smaller, more intricate parts for medical devices has required the traditional metal stamping process to evolve in order to meet the needs of precision stamped components.

Criteria for Design and Manufacturing of Precision Metal Stamped Medical Device Components takes a closer look at the steps involved in the improved manufacturability of metal stamping for medical device components.

Download the eBook Today >


Keats Launches Newly Redesigned Websites

KeatsMFGWebsiteKeats Manufacturing Co. is proud to announce the release of our newly redesigned websites for Keats Manufacturing and Keats Southwest.

The websites are fully responsive, allowing for better navigation and improved user experiences on mobile devices, tablets and desktops.

The updated websites also contain a variety of new information, case studies and resources related to our company and services, designed with the goal of making your job easier.

Explore the Keats Manufacturing and Keats Southwest websites today!


Continue following Keats Manufacturing’s blog to stay up-to-date on the latest company and industry news. We look forward to bringing you more exciting highlights in 2015!

Choosing a Mil-Spec Supplier: Criteria, Questions & Pitfalls

Here is an amazing statistic: In 2012, world military expenditures hit a huge number$1.7 trillion. North America alone made up 40% of that spending with $691.22 billion. To put these numbers into perspective, Russia’s entire GNP in 2012 was $1.8 trillion.

To manufacture trillions of dollars of military equipment, there are more military and defense suppliers than ever before. If you are thinking about getting into the lucrative military and defense manufacturing field, you need to learn how to select a military supplier that is experienced, respected and ultimately trustworthy.

Becoming a military supplier, especially in the U.S., is not easy. Suppliers must meet a complex set of exacting demands, referred to as Mil-Spec. At Keats, we know how challenging it can be to choose the right military supplier for your needs. All of these challenges are addressed and covered in our new eBook, Choosing a Mil-Spec Supplier: Criteria, Questions & Pitfalls.

This eBook provides a starting point for Mil-Spec contractors when selecting a Mil-Spec supplier, and gives readers a framework to weigh the benefits and drawbacks of Mil-Spec suppliers.

At Keats Manufacturing Company, we believe that when assessing potential Mil-Spec suppliers, there are 10 critical questions the supplier must answer correctly:

  • Has the company manufactured for Mil-Spec before? Experience is a must in Mil-Spec work.
  • Which Mil-Specs can the company meet? There are over 30,000 different Mil-Spec standards, so simply saying you are a Mil-Spec manufacturer is not enough.
  • Does the company have the proper facilities and environment regulation? Thanks to painstaking levels of standardization, your supplier must be incredibly detailed-oriented.
  • Do they track their supply chain? The Mil-Spec rules for procurement are vast and complex so you need a high level of tracking.
  • Is the company prepared for the reading and research involved in Mil-Spec documents? There is no room for skimming in the Mil-Spec world. You need to do the work.
  • Will they automatically provide you with the proper Mil-Spec documentation? Having to request documents after delivery causes delays across the board.
  • Does the company have the volume capabilities- at both ends of the range? Your supplier needs to be able to handle orders as big as 50,000,000 pieces or as small as one.
  • Do they have the right tolerance capabilities? Military equipment demands nothing less than the highest precision and the tightest tolerances.
  • Does your manufacturer exceed, or merely meet, Mil-Spec standards? Just good enough won’t cut it, you need best.
  • What technology and processes is the company using? If they are using out of date equipment, odds are good you are getting out of date products.

If a Mil-Spec supplier cannot give you an acceptable answer to these questions, then you need to continue looking.

We wrote Choosing a Mil-Spec Supplier: Criteria, Questions & Pitfalls because we have successfully fulfilled countless Mil-Spec orders throughout the years and we understand what it takes to get the job done right.

If you want to learn more about choosing the perfect Mil-Spec supplier, simply download your free copy of the e-book Choosing a Mil-Spec Supplier: Criteria, Questions & Pitfalls.

To discover why Keats just might be the perfect choice for all your Mil-Spec needs, contact us or give us a call at 800.KEATS.MFG. We look forward to working with you.