MIL-SPEC. Everyone says it, but do we even know what it means? Find Out!

Published with permission from Recon K9.

Link to original post: “MIL-SPEC. Everyone says it, but do we even know what's really going on here?”

MIL-SPEC. Everyone says it, but do we even know what's really going on here?

In product marketing the key is to find the buzz words and overuse them. Today we wanted to address one of the most violent offenders in our industry, MIL-SPEC! We won’t bore you the history lesson, but essentially it was designed as a standard to ensure performance, maintainability, ability to be repaired and logistical usefulness. These principles and over 100 years, has brought us countless manuals, great bathroom reading material and a cool word to say at the bar.

In today's world it’s possible to say just about anything is MIL-SPEC rated because the commercial standards have changed, and the industrial regulations have almost become militarized. In fact, did you know that the 1963 Military Specification MIL-Q-9858A is the origin of ISO 9001 standard and all other quality management system standards and regulations over the world. This brings me to a very important issue that we are all guilty of doing blindly. Trust.

So, let us ask you this. Do you know the quality methodology/philosophy on gear that is responsible for your life, or do you just trust that since they say it's MIL-SPEC or made in USA that it’s the best? There are some basics to this, that at a minimum, every company certifying gear should be doing. Rigorous in-house testing in accordance with MIL – STD 810, or a civilian equivalent, will ensure that the manufacturing will be able to hold together in various circumstances. This is mostly testing the strength and durability of the attachment points, fabric and hardware. A sometimes-overlooked factor is the fabrics ability to withstand the elements including temperature, breathability and antibacterial/antifungal properties. Check these boxes and you can get to market and say your product is certified, but we want the industry to go beyond the bare minimum. Too much is riding on the success of your gear.

To ensure customers stay loyal and engaged with Recon K-9, we strive to challenge and continuously improve the “status quo”. This is accomplished through:

  • Data Analytics
  • Root-Cause Analysis
  • Closed Loop Feedback Process
  • Manufacturing Excellence

At the heart of this process is statistical process control. Recon k-9s’ Team uses customer field data to assess whether performance is in or out of control specifications. Any resulting metric that is out of specification will be assessed through the Lean Six Sigma process of Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve, and Control process (DMAIC).                                    This process allows us to direct energy on the elements that will have the greatest effect on the outcome and has increased the level of understanding of satisfaction drivers while removing barriers to solving performance gap issues. This systematic approach provides greater speed to root cause identification and mitigation. It also allows our customer to feedback directly to us to make improvements through circumstantial analysis. The needs of one customer are not always the needs of all. We truly help you Find Your Way!  

This quality standard and commitment to improvement makes our gear high performance, gives you maintainability as well as repairability and logistical usefulness. Dare we say.... MIL-SPEC!